REP LIEU'S BILL TO STUDY EXPANDING SANTA MONICA MOUNTAINS NATIONAL RECREATION AREA PASSES HOUSE
WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman Ted W. Lieu announced the passage of his bill, the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area Boundary Adjustment Study Act. This bill will commission the National Park Service to conduct a three-year Special Resource Study to determine whether to add much of the Santa Monica Bay watershed to the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area (SMMNRA) or to create a new national recreation area. Turning the watershed into a national recreation area will ensure federal resources are available to maintain more open space for conservation and recreational use.
Earlier today, Rep. Lieu spoke on the floor, urging his colleagues to support his legislation.
Rep. Lieu’s Floor Remarks As Prepared:
- Thank you, [Mr./Madam] Speaker. I rise today in strong support of H.R. 1487, the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area Boundary Adjustment Study Act.
- In the 1970s, Congress established the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area to preserve natural and historic sites and to provide recreational, educational, scientific, and public health benefits to our greater Los Angeles community. Today, it spans more than 150,000 acres in Los Angeles and Ventura Counties, including parts of the Santa Monica Bay watershed in my congressional district.
- Much of the Santa Monica Bay watershed, however, remains outside of the National Recreation Area. This includes several miles of beaches and acres of wetlands that stand to benefit greatly from federal resources.
- H.R. 1487 would commission the National Park Service to conduct a three-year Special Resource Study to determine whether to expand the boundary of the existing Santa Monica Mountains Recreation Area, or create a new national recreation area altogether. The study would cover the entire Santa Monica Bay coastline—from Venice Beach to Torrance Beach—as well as the Ballona Wetlands, Ballona Creek, Baldwin Hills, and the San Pedro coastline.
- While conducting the study, the National Park Service would consult with state and local governments, community groups, nonprofits, and residents. The study would become a basis for future congressional action to modify the national recreation area borders.
- Expanding the national recreation area would allow the watershed to benefit from available federal scientific and infrastructure resources, enabling better conservation and recreational use. It would also help federal agencies enter into cooperative agreements to manage the land and carry out improvement projects aimed at connecting trails, building wildlife corridors, and more. Importantly, all of this would be accomplished without affecting private property rights or creating unfunded mandates on state or local government.
- The Los Angeles coastal region stands to benefit tremendously from increased federal resources to preserve open space for conservation and recreation, and I am proud to have the support of many of my colleagues in the Los Angeles delegation.
- I urge my colleagues to vote in favor of H.R. 1487 and I yield back the balance of my time.