Press Releases

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July 14, 2016
 

WASHINGTON – Today, Representatives Sam Farr (D-Calif.) and Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) introduced the California Seamounts and Ridges National Marine Conservation Area Designation and Management Act (H.R. 5797) to protect seamounts, ridges and banks in federal waters off the California coastline. 
 
“Growing up along the Central Coast, I’ve always loved our oceans and I know how important they are for our environment and economy,” said Rep. Farr. “In 42 years of serving in elected office, I’ve championed ocean conservation and policies to improve our coastal communities. This bill carries on that legacy by bringing together fisherman, tribes, scientists, community leaders, organizations and governments to protect extraordinary waters.”
 
“I am proud to cosponsor the California Seamounts and Ridges National Marine Conservation Area Designation and Management Act. California’s coastline, seamounts, ridges and banks are some of our most precious treasures, and I applaud Rep. Farr’s leadership on this issue,” said Rep. Lieu.
 
“These are extraordinary places,” says Jane Lubchenco, former Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. “Seamounts off of California support rare deep‐water corals and sponges, endangered white abalone, endangered fin and blue whales, and many other iconic species. These remote, deep areas are also a vital frontier for scientific discovery, as research expeditions continue to yield new species and new knowledge."
 
Federal waters off California’s coastline are home to an exceptional array of seamounts, ridges and banks that host diverse and rare wildlife and habitat. There are also extraordinary geological features, including undersea islands and extinct volcanoes. 
 
Currently, less than one percent of all federal waters are protected. 
 
Although these remote areas are offshore and relatively far from coastal populations, these seamounts, ridges and banks are at risk from human impacts. Climate change, ocean acidification, over fishing, energy development, mining and other activities threaten these unique areas.
 
H.R. 5797 also includes a robust public consultation process to include tribes, fishermen and stakeholders to better understand the activities occurring in certain areas. 
 
Many marine reserves have spurred economic growth through ecotourism and enhancement of local fisheries.   
 
All recreational fishing, including commercially licensed charter boat fishing, and commercial Albacore fishing will continue to be allowed in the protected areas. 
 
The full text of H.R. 5797 is available here.  
 

July 13, 2016

WASHINGTON – Today, Rep. Sam Farr (D-Calif.) announced that the Mesa Del Ray Airport in King City will receive a federal grant totaling $162,000 from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The funding will be used to update the airport master plan and airport layout to better serve passengers.

“Mesa Del Ray Airport is an important connecting hub for communities in the region,” said Rep. Farr. “Rural airports are important pieces in our nation’s infrastructure and this investment will uplift the entire region.”

“Our airport is a tremendous resource in our community and is used for a number of activities, including both general aviation and as a base for emergency wildfire operations. I look forward to the improvements and upgrades this grant will allow so that it can continue to provide those services,” said King City Mayor, Robert Cullen.

More information about this grant from the Federal Aviation Administration is available here.

 
July 8, 2106
 
WASHINGTON – Today, Rep. Sam Farr (D-Calif.) released the following statement regarding the decision by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to extend the comment period for its proposed rule on lemon imports from Argentina by 30 days.
 
“I believe that trade can be beneficial for both our Central Coast growers and our partners abroad, but we need to do our due diligence before we open up new avenues for trade,” said Representative Sam Farr (D-Calif.). “Before lemons from Argentina are reintroduced to American markets, the science must be right. APHIS must be able to ensure risks are mitigated from pests or other diseases that would damage our fields and local economies. APHIS’ decision to delay the comment period is a small step but our farmers must be protected from devastating pests and disease. Science and safety must come before policy decisions.”
 

July 12, 2016
 

WASHINGTON – Today, Rep. Sam Farr (D-Calif.) announced that the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) was awarded $75,000 from the National Science Foundation. 
 
The funding will support research to understand the relationship between our atmosphere with warming temperatures and ocean acidification in the Arctic Ocean environment. The grant will also support an early career scientist, three Ph.D. students and engage several undergraduate students.
 
“The Central Coast is home to one of the highest concentrations of ocean research institutions in the world,” said Rep. Farr. “Understanding our oceans and climate change is critical work and I’m thrilled to announce federal funding is headed to MBARI.”
 
"We are delighted that the National Science Foundation has provided funding for this important research that will improve our ability to predict how the Arctic sea ice and ocean will fare in the future," said Francisco Chavez, biological oceanographer at MBARI. 
 
MBARI is a non-profit world-class research institution where scientists and engineers work together to develop new instruments and methods for studying the ocean.
 

July 8, 2016

WASHINGTON – Today, Rep. Sam Farr (D-Calif.) released the following statement regarding the recent tragedies in Louisiana, Minnesota and Dallas.
 
“I’m heartbroken, angry and dismayed over the recent shootings in Baton Rouge, Falcon Heights and Dallas. Mass shootings, targeted violence and racial hatred must end immediately and we must stop shooting each other - this is not how a civil society works. This country must strive to regain our sense of inclusion, respect and peace to end senseless killing everywhere.”