Just because the first National Marine Sanctuary Day was celebrated this week doesn’t mean the rest of the year shouldn’t ignore the importance of marine sanctuaries.
October 23rd coincides with the anniversary of the National Marine Sanctuaries Act, which was signed into law in 1972.
The National Marine Sanctuary System today includes 15 sanctuaries and two marine national monuments and spans more than 620,000 square miles of US waters.
There are currently six additional sites undergoing the highly public and participatory sanctuary designation process: Chumash Heritage, Hudson Canyon, Lake Erie, Lake Ontario, Pacific Remote Islands and Papahanaumokuakea.
Joel Johnson, president and CEO of the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation, said:
“Our national marine sanctuaries are partnerships of people, and sources of solutions to some of the greatest challenges facing America. From the East Coast to the Pacific, the Great Lakes to the Gulf, sanctuaries illuminate maritime history and heritage, protect biodiversity and fight climate change. On this day going forward, we share the stories of our sanctuaries and urge their support as sources of solutions to the great challenges facing our ocean and our world.”