A U.S. National Marine Sanctuary is a federally designated area within United States waters that protects areas of the marine environment with special conservation, recreational, ecological, historical, cultural, archeological, scientific, educational, or aesthetic qualities. The National Marine Sanctuary System consists of 14 marine protected areas that encompass more than 150,000 square miles (390,000 km2). Individual areas range from less than 1 to 137,792 square miles.
The National Marine Sanctuaries Program (NMSP), a division of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) administers the 13 national marine sanctuaries. The Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Marine National Monument is a marine protected area but not a national marine sanctuary. The program began after the 1969 Santa Barbara oil spill off the coast of California brought the plight of marineecosystems to national attention. The United States Congress responded in 1972 with the Marine Protection, Research and Sanctuaries Actwhich allowed for the creation of marine sanctuaries. The resources protected by U.S. national marine sanctuaries range from coral reefecosystems in Florida, Hawaii, and American Samoa to shipwrecks in Lake Huron and the wreck of the USS Monitor. The Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, while not a U.S. national marine sanctuary, is also jointly administered by the NMSP, in conjunction with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the State of Hawaii.
The proposed Sanctuary embodies internationally and nationally significant oceanographic features, habitat and sacred Chumash onshore and submerged sites, some as far as 13 miles offshore. Codependent onshore resources include the high coastal dunes, wetlands and Chumash Sacred sites continuously occupied for 9,000 or more years. Continue reading
Secure Habitat for Species Close to Extinction
Marine is an adjective for things relating to the sea or ocean, such as marine biology, marine ecology and marine geology.
In scientific contexts, the term almost always refers exclusively to saltwater environments, although in other contexts (e.g., engineering) it may refer to any (usually navigable) body of water.
Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary
Purpose and Area
The proposed Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary is dedicated to the nurturing of relationships to Nature and the Ocean in the deepest ways possible. The Chumash understanding and culture-based respect for Nature comes from their long and profound relationships with coastal marine ecosystems.
The proposed Sanctuary embodies internationally and nationally significant oceanographic features, habitat and sacred Chumash onshore and submerged sites, some as far as13 miles offshore. Codependent onshore resources include the high coastal dunes, wetlands and Chumash Sacred sites continuously occupied for 9,000 or more years.
“To protect, preserve and nurture the “thrivability” of California’s coastal waters, living ocean, its scenic coastline, all of the natural resources and wildlife, its submerged Native American sacred sites and indigenous seafaring traditions for future generations…”
A sanctuary, in its original meaning, is a sacred place, such as a shrine. By the use of such places as a safe haven, by extension the term has come to be used for any place of safety. This secondary use can be categorized into human sanctuary, a safe place for humans, such as a political sanctuary; and non-human sanctuary, such as an animal or plant sanctuary.