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Chair Sutley Visits California with a Focus on Water

Last week, Nancy Sutley, Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, traveled to California for meetings and events focused on the new National Ocean Policy and the California Bay Delta.

Last week I traveled west to California with a specific focus on water.  My trip started by joining Senator Feinstein to celebrate the west coast's largest tidal wetland restoration project, the South Bay Salt Pond Restoration.  This project is a unique private-public partnership that will restore habitat for threatened and endangered species.

Salt pond sutley

Senator Feinstein, Chair Sutley, President of Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation Steve McCormick, Executive Officer of CA State Coastal Conservancy Sam Schuchat, and California Secretary for Natural Resources Lester Snow at the South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project

Later in the day, we held a series of meetings focused on the California Bay Delta to hear from business, environmental, and Federal and State representatives who are on the front lines of California's water crisis.  That evening, I participated in a public forum in Santa Cruz with Representative Sam Farr focused on the National Ocean Policy that President Obama established by Executive Order on July 19, 2010.  

The following evening Dr. Lubchenco, Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and I spoke at the Commonwealth Club, where we highlighted the new National Policy for the oceans, our coasts and the Great Lakes.  The National Ocean Policy will create a new National Ocean Council to provide a sustained, high-level and coordinated attention to marine and Great Lakes issues.  It will also establish a flexible framework for effective coastal and marine spatial planning.  This will allow regional bodies across the country to decide how to address challenges tailored to unique regional circumstances.

Overall, our time in California was very well spent and with a focus on Bay Delta issues and a National Policy that will go a long way towards preserving one of our nation's most valuable resources.

Nancy Sutley is Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality