Discover Spectacular: Celebrating 50 Years of Ocean Conservation and Stewardship

October 26, 2021

Claire Fackler and Brady Phillips of NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, Gabriella Valderrama and Chloe McKenna, NOAA education interns, and Brijonnay Madrigal, Dr. Nancy Foster Scholar and PhD candidate at University of Hawai`i, Manoa

50 years ago, the U.S. ushered in a new era of ocean conservation by creating the National Marine Sanctuary System. Since then, we've grown into a nationwide network of 15 national marine sanctuaries and two marine national monuments that conserve more than 620,000 square miles of spectacular ocean and Great Lakes waters, an area nearly the size of Alaska.

Your national marine sanctuaries and monuments support coastal communities and drive local economies by providing jobs and opportunities for people to discover, recreate, and form life-long connections with these spectacular places. Sanctuaries connect people and communities through science, education, and stewardship. We rely on these networks to inspire community-based solutions that help us understand and protect our nation's most spectacular habitats, marine life, archaeological wonders, and cultural seascapes.

Learn more about how we look to the future to continue saving these spectacular places and ensure the National Marine Sanctuary System remains a source of pride and enjoyment for all Americans.