Standing at a scenic spot along the Massachusetts shore yesterday, President Clinton signed into law a bipartisan bill intended to protect the nation’s oceans and coastal areas. The law will establish a 16-member commission to study ocean issues and recommend a long-term strategy for protecting marine resources, restoring fish and marine mammal populations, strengthening coastal communities, and balancing environmental and economic needs. Eli Weissman of the Center for Marine Conservation praised the measure as “landmark legislation.” Also at his press conference, Clinton announced new measures to protect coral reefs and rebuild fisheries, called on Congress to approve his proposed 159 percent increase in spending on ocean and coastal protection, and extended through 2012 the moratorium on offshore oil and gas leasing off most of America’s coasts.