August 24, 2011
Central Coast Assemblyman Bill Monning's bill to sustain critical sea otter funding is headed to the governor's desk.
AB 971 would keep the California Sea Otter Fund on state income tax forms as a voluntary check-off donation for five more years. The fund, created in 2006, supports sea otter field research and conservation programs. Fewer than 3,000 of the endangered mustelids remain off California's coast, most of them concentrated from Monterey to Big Sur.
The bill sailed through the Assembly earlier this year and passed in the state Senate last week, 33-3.
It is co-sponsored by the Defenders of Wildlife and the Monterey Bay Aquarium.