California's celebrated Pacific coast gained 30 new ocean sanctuaries Wednesday at an emotional meeting that saw conservationists prevail over state financial concerns.
The new preserves cover 153 square miles of ocean between Half Moon Bay and Mendocino. Starting Jan. 1, fishing will be permanently banned or restricted in the zones.
The vote marks the second phase of California's Marine Life Protection Act, which in 2007 created 29 similar preserves between Santa Cruz and Lompoc. The process has been held up around the world as a model of collaboration and foresight in protecting ocean habitat.
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