Monday, July 22, 2024

Chumash National Marine Sanctuary Inches Closer To Reality


The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has released the draft documents for the designation of the proposed Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary off the California coast.

This is the second-to-last step in the designation process. A public comment period is open until October 25th, 2023.

The sanctuary boundary would encompass 5,617 square miles/4,242 square nautical miles/14,548 square kilometers of submerged lands and marine waters from Montaña de Oro State Park in San Luis Obispo County to Naples along the Gaviota Coast in Santa Barbara County.

Joel Johnson, president and CEO of the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation, applauded the move:

“Designating Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary is a transformational moment for our coastal California waters and all stewards of our shared ocean. This indigenous-led nomination advances ocean justice and equity by protecting ancestral waters and giving everyone the opportunity to learn from the Central Coast Tribes’ traditional knowledge and ways of stewarding cultural and marine resources.”

Check out NOAA’s notice here.

(Featured image credit: Robert Schwemmer/NMSF)

John Liang
John Liang
John Liang is the News Editor at He first got the diving bug while in High School in Cairo, Egypt, where he earned his PADI Open Water Diver certification in the Red Sea off the Sinai Peninsula. Since then, John has dived in a volcanic lake in Guatemala, among white-tipped sharks off the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, and other places including a pool in Las Vegas helping to break the world record for the largest underwater press conference.