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Press Releases

May 13, 2005

Michiko Martin
National Marine Sanctuaries Education Coordinator
(301) 713-3125 ext. 254


NOAA's National Marine Sanctuary Program has unveiled a new education website as part of a continuing NOAA effort to enhance public awareness, understanding and appreciation of the marine environment.

The new site is designed to assist the general public in learning about America's 13 National Marine Sanctuaries and the Northwest Hawaiian Islands Coral Reef Ecosystem Reserve as well as provide resources for teachers to support ocean literacy in America's classrooms. The site is:

"NOAA's National Marine Sanctuary Program is a key program in fulfilling NOAA's vision to improve the nation's environmental literacy," said retired Navy Vice Admiral Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Jr., Ph.D., under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. "We are pleased to be able to make available this new rich resource for our nation's educators and the public."

Educators will find curriculum, lesson plans, and activities that will expand students' knowledge about science and technology, such as an environmental monitoring program designed for students called LiMPETS. Links to National Marine Sanctuary field studies for teachers and students in partnership with the National Geographic Society's "Living Classroom" project are available as well.

The site also provides access to NOAA's "Dive into Education Marine Science Program," designed to provide K-12 teachers with professional development using hands-on, standards-based, ocean science activities. Additionally, the National Marine Sanctuary Program provides educators a free email marine science education network for future field studies, partnerships, professional development and grant funding opportunities, collaborations and support.

National marine sanctuaries are living classrooms that can be explored in person or through interactive digital labs and activities. Through special student sections on the site one can find games, online storybooks, information on marine careers, activities and free materials. For example, visitors to the web site can pilot the "Deep Worker" submersible in Monterey Bay's kelp forests or learn about a year in the life of a Northern Elephant seal.

Another feature is a virtual sanctuary tour, with opportunities for watching underwater video clips and exploring image galleries with stunning photographs. The site provides direct links to each of the sanctuaries where visitors can learn more about a specific site or volunteer to assist in outreach efforts.

The NOAA National Marine Sanctuary Program seeks to increase public awareness of America's ocean and Great Lakes treasures by conducting scientific research, monitoring, exploration and educational programs. Today, the NOAA sanctuary program manages 13 national marine sanctuaries and one coral reef ecosystem reserve that together encompass more than 150,000 square miles of America's ocean and Great Lakes natural and cultural resources.

The NOAA Oceans and Coasts Service manages the National Marine Sanctuary Program and is dedicated to exploring, understanding, conserving and restoring the nation's coasts and oceans and works to balance environmental protection with economic prosperity in its mission promoting safe navigation, supporting coastal communities, sustaining coastal habitats and mitigating coastal hazards. NOAA, the Commerce Department's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and providing environmental stewardship of our nation's coastal and marine resources.

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