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Protecting Arnold's special places in California

July 30, 2008 |  7:00 am

Pumpingironinvenice What's worth saving in California? If you ask Arnold Schwarzenegger, he has his own list of special places.

"Here in California we have many beautiful sites such as Hollywood, Yosemite, Disneyland and many others," the California governor said. "But perhaps the greatest attraction is the Pacific, whether it's deep-sea fishing off the coast of Monterey, or if it is scuba diving in Santa Barbara, or whale watching in San Diego, or even pumping iron at Venice Beach. And, with the help of our partners to our north, we will preserve those experiences for future generations to enjoy."

Those were his public observations as he and Govs. Ted Kulongoski of Oregon and Chris Gregoire announced the West Coast Governors' Ocean Action Plan to safeguard the coastal waters from the ravages of overfishing, coastal pollution, excessive development and myriad other stresses. A story in The Times spells out the details.

The governors banded together in 2006 after years of poor performance by the federal government to remedy what President Bush's U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy called "serious problems facing our nation's marine environment and its resources."

The governors immediately sent letters asking for $5 milllion in federal dollars to implement their plan and reiterating their opposition to new offshore oil drilling -- an idea being pushed by President Bush and GOP presidential candidate John McCain.

Federal officials, who privately acknowlege their frustration in making headway on the issue, lauded the governors for taking a leadership role in attempting to restore ocean health.

"The new Action Plan for the West Coast is a testament to what we can accomplish when we align our efforts and work together for a better future for our oceans and coasts," said James L. Connaughton, chairman of the White House Council on Environmental Quality.

-- Kenneth R. Weiss

Photo: Schwarzenegger working out in 1975 at Gold's Gym in Venice. Credit: Los Angeles Times

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