Proposed Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary
NOAA is releasing for public comment the draft designation documents for the proposed Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary. This action comes after the agency conducted a thorough analysis and evaluated feedback from the public, stakeholders, Indigenous communities, scientists, and federal and state agencies. The proposed sanctuary designation stretches along 134 miles of coastline and would encompass more than 5,600 square miles of water off of the Central California coast.
On behalf of a broad community consortium, the Northern Chumash Tribal Council submitted the sanctuary nomination in July 2015. NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries issued a Notice of Intent to begin the designation process for the proposed sanctuary in November 2021. NOAA's proposed designation would protect the region’s important marine ecosystems and maritime heritage resources, support ocean-dependent economies, and highlight the cultural values and connections of Indigenous communities to the area.