Our Blue Heritage

Look beneath the surface of the sites of your National Marine Sanctuary System and you'll find a living museum, a repository of the stories and cultures that have been passed down through generations: Our Blue Heritage. In this section, you'll find stories of partnerships that have helped us keep the heritage of our Great Lakes and ocean parks alive.

Discover how intertidal monitoring in Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument helps connect Native Hawaiians to a delicacy that has been treasured for generations, and how expeditions to these remote Hawaiian islands are helping integrate cultural knowledge into scientific observation.

Then, learn how a group of African-American divers are fostering appreciation for marine environments within their community and helping investigate the rich maritime history of the Florida Keys. Travel north to Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary to understand how the rediscovery of two lost shipwrecks has connected Michigan residents to their past.

Finally, journey to the waters of National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa to learn how the ocean is home, and how residents around the sanctuary celebrate this resource every year.

Image above: The ocean is integral to Samoan culture. In National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa, traditional fishers catch goatfish using small hand-woven traps called 'enu. Photo: Matt McIntosh/NOAA