Sanctuary Advisory Council

aerial of kayak among wrecks.
Photo: Matt McIntosh/NOAA

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the State of Maryland and Charles County, Maryland, regard 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 sanctuary advisory councils.

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 15 sites in the sanctuary system have an advisory council.

The Office of National Marine Sanctuaries is committed to the full support, utilization, and enhancement of councils at all sanctuaries. In order for councils to achieve their full potential, the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries within the limits of available resources will:

  • At each site, provide sufficient support to allow councils to operate efficiently and effectively;
  • Provide support and guidance from the national office to help councils operate efficiently and at a basic level of consistency across the system;
  • Promote coordination and communication among councils and among sanctuary staff that work closely with councils; and
  • Develop training programs appropriate to council officers and members, and sanctuary superintendents and staff.

Sanctuary Advisory Council Profile

The Mallows Bay-Potomac River National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council (council) was established in 2020. The council has fifteen members and fifteen alternates, representing facets of the sanctuary community, including education, maritime archaeology and history, research, fishing, recreation, tourism, cultural resources, economic development, and the community at large. The council also has six government, two Indian tribes and one Indian nation non-voting seats.
For more information on the advisory council MPNMS Council Charter.