ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. — A national marine sanctuary is proposed off Florida's East Coast.


Pat Hamilton is vice president of the Friends of Matanzas – a group that is applying for a national marine sanctuary called the Eubalaena-Oculina National Marine Sanctuary.


He said the latest proposal's boundaries extend from southern Duval County to Cape Canaveral. It would start three miles from shore, at the end of the state waters and extend 85 miles out at some points.


Hamilton noted, "The national marine sanctuary would not allow oil and gas drilling nor seismic testing. An oil spill here would decimate my business, I'm in the real estate business."


He said a spill could hurt many who live on the First Coast.


The sanctuary aims to protect wildlife, specifically the North Atlantic right whale, the Oculina deep water coral, as well as marine archaeology sites.


Dozens of fisherman have voiced concerns about the sanctuary, saying it would hurt their livelihoods.


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