Representative Lynn Woolsey and Senator Barbara Boxer have asked President Barack Obama to establish a marine monument to protect the northern California coast from offshore drilling. The monument would cover about 2,800 square miles off the Mendocino, Sonoma and Marin coasts, and provide protection for the region’s outstanding habitats, marine life, fisheries, and recreational areas. Woolsey, who retires from Congress in January, has tried for years to pass legislation that would achieve similar protection through expanding the Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary and the Gulf of Farallones National Marine Sanctuary. However, HR 192, which is supported by Surfrider chapters in the region, has failed to move forward in the House, despite broad support from stakeholders and community leaders in northern California. To read a recent editorial from the Santa Rosa Press Democrat in support of the monument designation click here.