Sanctuary Advisory Council Overview
A sanctuary advisory council is a community-based advisory group consisting of representatives from various user groups, government agencies and the public at large. The role of the council is to provide advice to the sanctuary superintendent on the designation and/or operation of a national marine sanctuary. All fourteen sites in the sanctuary system have an advisory council.
The members of councils serve as a broad cross-section of the communities that lie adjacent to sanctuaries. In total, approximately 440 people (members and alternates) serve on advisory councils. Individuals from all walks of life serve their communities and sanctuaries as members of advisory councils and advisory council working groups and subcommittees. Council members include fishers, divers, teachers, boaters, business people, activists, protected area managers, scientists, and elected officials.
The Office of National Marine Sanctuaries regards the involvement of communities and the development of a stewardship ethic as vitally important to successfully protect sanctuary resources. One key way to achieve this involvement is the formation of councils. Therefore, the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries is committed to the full support, utilization, and enhancement of councils at all sanctuaries.