Sea to Shining Sea Newsletter - June 2022
In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the National Marine Sanctuary System, we are offering a variety of "Get Into Your Sanctuary" activities and events all summer long, including our annual photo contest. This year, we will be hosting both in-person and online celebrations. Use social media to tell us about your favorite activities in national marine sanctuaries using #ILoveMySanctuary and #RecreateResponsibly!
NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries invites the public to participate in the first step in the process to potentially designate a new national marine sanctuary off the coast of New York and New Jersey. The Wildlife Conservation Society submitted a nomination for a Hudson Canyon National Marine Sanctuary in November 2016, noting that the area provides a wide range of benefits to New York and New Jersey residents such as clean air, fresh water, recreation, and food. The public can comment on the proposed action through August 8, 2022.
The Office of National Marine Sanctuaries has added Alaĝum Kanuux̂: Heart Of The Ocean to its inventory of successful sanctuary nominations. The nominated area supports globally significant populations of marine mammals, seabirds, and fish, as well as ecological and cultural keystone species such as northern fur seals and Steller sea lions which are also vital for the subsistence of the Unangan (Aleut) people and are integral to their belief systems and identities. Once a nomination is added to the inventory, NOAA may consider an area for future designation as a national marine sanctuary.
The Department of Commerce recently announced a new National Travel and Tourism Strategy that focuses federal government efforts to support the U.S. travel and tourism industry and sets an ambitious five-year goal of attracting 90 million international visitors to the United States each year. It is estimated these visitors would spend $279 billion annually, expenditures that will support job creation in communities across the United States, its territories, and the District of Columbia. NOAA's National Marine Sanctuaries were highlighted as places to showcase diversity, richness, and value of our nation's waters. Through leveraging the recreation, aesthetic, and other sustainable tourism opportunities, national marine sanctuaries draw visitors from across the globe and build strong local economies and highly engaged communities, while establishing a model for destination stewardship to sustainably manage natural and cultural resources
NOAA's Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary is among the locations featured in a new five-part Netflix documentary series about the world's most breathtaking parks and the wildlife that live there. Narrated and executive produced by former President Barack Obama, "Our Great National Parks," takes viewers on an up close and personal look at some of the most beloved creatures on Earth, not to mention the most elusive. Spanning five continents, the series brims with wonder, humor and optimism as each episode tells the story of a protected place through the lives of its wildest residents and explores our changing relationship with wilderness.
NOAA, the U.S. Navy, and partners have launched a new web portal that allows users to learn about and listen to underwater sounds throughout the National Marine Sanctuary System. As the sanctuary system celebrates its 50th anniversary, this resource provides another way to experience the wonders of America's underwater treasures without getting wet. The SanctSound portal invites the public to explore the results of a three-year project involving over 50 scientists from 20 institutions from all over the country who collected and analyzed underwater recordings from seven national marine sanctuaries and one marine national monument, including waters off Hawaii and the East and West coasts.
Sixteen miles off the coast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, lie the remains of the iconic Civil War ironclad, USS Monitor, the prototype warship that helped save the Union and influenced naval ship design for decades. The one-mile diameter column of water surrounding this vessel is home to Monitor National Marine Sanctuary. These borders might seem small, but the story of America's naval history extends far into the waters off North Carolina. These waters hold the great stories of our country; from how our fledgling nation nearly fractured to how it eventually grew into a global superpower. Please visit the Global Foundation for Ocean Exploration's website to explore the exciting submerged history visited on this expedition.
The nation's marine legacy from the last half century contains both victories: a global moratorium on commercial whaling, recovery of fisheries, creation of some of the largest underwater parks on the planet; and challenges: climate change, species on the brink of extinction, continuing habitat and biodiversity losses, and a growing problem with plastic pollution. As an integral part of that marine legacy, the National Marine Sanctuary System has a story to tell of change, growth, and impact. This report tells the story of our blue legacy.