Sea to Shining Sea Newsletter - September 2022

Introducing National Marine Sanctuaries Forever® Stamps

a collage of stamps featuring colorful fish, marine mammals, and seascapes

In celebration of the National Marine Sanctuary System's 50th anniversary, NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries teamed up with the U.S. Postal Service to showcase our nation's underwater treasures with 16 new Forever® stamps. The Forever® stamps depict some of the diverse and iconic wildlife and ecosystems found in national marine sanctuaries. From the coral reefs of American Samoa to the humpback whales of Stellwagen Bank, these stamps symbolize the amazing seascapes and marine life that we share this world with and our nation's dedication to protect them. While we work to protect the ecological, cultural, and historical significance of sanctuaries, you are an equally important part of their protection and existence. National Marine Sanctuaries belong to you, and these stamps bring them closer to home.

NOAA Seeks Public Comment on Restoration Blueprint for Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary

Restoration Blueprint

One of the most significant marine conservation initiatives in the world—restoring sensitive habitats and managing resources in Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary—is one step closer as NOAA released a proposed rule and draft revised management plan, together known as the "Restoration Blueprint." The proposed rule is the next step in the comprehensive review and update of the sanctuary's boundary, regulations, and marine zones, which were last thoroughly updated in 1997. The draft management plan focuses on six key themes: adaptive management, water quality, restoration, visitor use management, enforcement, and stewardship. During the public comment period for the Restoration Blueprint, the public will have until October 26, 2022, to provide input about the future of their Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.

Coming Next Month: 50th Anniversary of the National Marine Sanctuary System

sherman's lagoon characters around the 50th anniverary national marine sanctuary logo

Help us celebrate by sharing a post on social media! Check out our #SaveSpectacular media toolkit, and visit our Flickr site for additional content and photos. Use hashtags #SaveSpectacular for any posts regarding the 50th anniversary and #RecreateResponsibly for any posts regarding responsible recreation in national marine sanctuaries. Keep an eye out for new content on NOAA’s websites, social media accounts, and newsletters leading up to the anniversary on October 23, 2022. Thank you for helping us Save Spectacular!

a child wearing a vr headset and the words national marine sanctuaries explore the blue 360

#BackToSchool and Into Your Sanctuaries

In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the National Marine Sanctuary System, we have some great educational material for teachers and students to incorporate ocean science, conservation, and stewardship throughout the upcoming school year! Engage your audience to help us #SaveSpectacular. With the start of the new school year, we invite you to dive into these resources and activities, including, but not limited to, virtual reality videos, a reading program, and the National Marine Sanctuaries Webinar Series.

New Business Advisory Council Members

headshots of new bac members

Congratulations to the two newly appointed members of the Sanctuary System Business Advisory Council; Vipe Desai and Keith Shattenkirk! Vipe, Executive Director of the Surf Industry Members Association, joins the council as a champion for the surf industry. He brings a wealth of experience in creating disruptive brands and growth strategies for nonprofits and emerging enterprises. Keith, Program Officer for U.S. Lands and Water Corporate Programs at Patagonia, is also joining the council and bringing his extensive experience balancing outdoor recreation and environmental sustainability. The Business Advisory Council is now composed of 14 members, all of which possess a wealth of knowledge and experience through their diverse backgrounds.

Are You Ready to Get Into Your Sanctuary?

Sanctuary Exploration Center

There are plenty of opportunities to explore our nation's underwater parks, whether that means visiting your local marine sanctuary or ‘diving in’ from the comfort of your own home! You can now explore our nation’s underwater parks from your own smartphone. The ParkPassport mobile app includes NOAA’s national marine sanctuaries and marine national monuments. You can also visit National Marine Sanctuaries at their in-person visitor centers. Many National Marine Sanctuary visitor centers are now open to the public, and some even have new exhibits for sanctuary visitors and school and student groups to explore and participate in hands-on learning opportunities.