Proposal to Move Major California Shipping Lanes

The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) has proposed creating new traffic lanes in the Santa Barbara Channel and in the approaches to Los Angeles and Long Beach and the approach to the San Pedro Channel from the Pacific. The goal is to reduce the risk of marine casualties in light of increased vessel traffic. When vessels follow predicable and charted routing measures, congestion may be reduced, according to the USCG, and mariners may be better able to predict where vessel interactions may occur and act accordingly. Shifting the lanes will also move vessel traffic away from the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary, which along with the larger Santa Barbara Channel region, host an abundance of blue, humpback, fin and other large migratory whales. Interest groups have also petitioned for a maximum sailing speed of 10 knots through the marine sanctuaries. Cruise lines queried said they did not yet know if the proposal would affect their itineraries.


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