FOR AMERICA'S TREASURED OCEAN PLACES
Five Year Strategy for the National Marine Sanctuary System 2022-2027
In this strategic plan we set forth the first five years of a 20-year vision to fundamentally change how national marine sanctuaries and other marine protected areas contribute to meeting the challenges ahead, preserve places our nation entrusted to us, and leave the generations that follow a model to emulate for marine conservation.
This document does not—nor should it—catalog everything we do. It is meant to guide us in our decision processes and in prioritizing the actions we will take following our 50th anniversary in October 2022.
The following goals and objectives are the heart of the document and frame what actions we plan to take through 2027:
ENSURE HEALTHY AND RESILIENT SANCTUARIES AND OTHER MARINE PROTECTED AREAS
- OBJECTIVE 1.1: Protect sanctuary ecosystems, maritime heritage resources, and cultural landscapes.
- OBJECTIVE 1.2: Manage national marine sanctuaries as part of a resilient, adaptive network of marine protected areas within changing ocean and Great Lakes environments.
- OBJECTIVE 1.3: Restore key habitats and species in national marine sanctuaries to ensure long-term resilience and ecosystem benefits.
PROTECT MORE AREAS OF NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL SIGNIFICANCE
- OBJECTIVE 2.1: Protect more places in the National Marine Sanctuary
System to promote climate resilience, support a healthy ocean, and
conserve areas of historical and cultural significance.
- OBJECTIVE 2.2: Support community, Indigenous, state, federal, and
international efforts to protect national marine sanctuaries and additional
ocean and Great Lake places.
INCREASE AND BROADEN PUBLIC SUPPORT FOR OCEAN CONSERVATION AND THE SANCTUARY SYSTEM
- OBJECTIVE 3.1: Use national marine sanctuaries as places to educate and engage the public in ocean and Great Lakes stewardship and climate action.
- OBJECTIVE 3.2: Expand recognition and appreciation of the National Marine Sanctuary System.
- OBJECTIVE 3.3: Diversify engagement efforts.
DEEPEN UNDERSTANDING OF SANCTUARIES
- OBJECTIVE 4.1: Increase and share our understanding of sanctuary resources.
- OBJECTIVE 4.2: Track and predict conditions, trends, and threats across the National Marine Sanctuary System.
- OBJECTIVE 4.3: Understand the uses and values of the National Marine Sanctuary System.
INVEST IN INFRASTRUCTURE TO MEET CURRENT AND FUTURE SYSTEM-WIDE NEEDS
- OBJECTIVE 5.1: Identify current and future infrastructure needs and opportunities.
- OBJECTIVE 5.2: Implement infrastructure projects.
ENSURE AN INCLUSIVE AND INNOVATIVE WORKPLACE
- OBJECTIVE 6.1: Build a culture of collaboration, inclusion, equity, and respect.
- OBJECTIVE 6.2: Recruit and retain diverse staff, advisory council members, and volunteers that represent our communities and nation.
- OBJECTIVE 6.3: Invest in our people and build a workforce to tackle current and future challenges.
A Transformational Vision for the Next 20 Years of National Marine Sanctuaries (2022-2042)
By learning from the past, applying the latest knowledge and technologies, and considering current and future threats to ocean and Great Lakes resources, we have mapped out our vision for the next 20 years of conservation throughout the National Marine Sanctuary System.
It is our intention that by 2042:
- National marine sanctuaries and other MPAs thrive in and contribute to regional and broader ecosystem health;
- ONMS is fully resourced to conserve and manage our nation's most prized marine areas;
- Ocean and Great Lakes conservation and national marine sanctuaries are recognized as as a national asset on par with other federally-managed places like parks or forests;
- ONMS' workforce is equipped and ready to predict and respond to climate and environmental changes;
- The sanctuary system has the infrastructure needed to meet its mission, including access to cutting edge technology; and
- NOAA is viewed as a global leader for MPA management, science, public education, and peer instruction.
Our fundamental priorities for transformational change include:
- Indigenous, cultural, and tribal significance
- Investment in infrastructure for marine conservation
- Diversity and inclusion
Our priority cultural and organizational changes that need to be made include:
- Conserve and restore
- Ensure representation
- Be relevant
- Effect change