Act Now to Save Our National Marine Sanctuaries:
The four spectacular U.S. National Marine Sanctuaries that have been created over the past thirty-six years along the California coast are now in jeopardy. The present-day Channel Islands, Monterey Bay, Cordell Bank, and Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuaries underpin thriving regional economies and iconic seascapes, while providing essential protection for healthy ecosystems supporting important fisheries. Together, their protection today serves as a planetary model for sustainable management of our marine environment in a manner compatible with beneficial human uses.
Globally recognized as America’s national treasures in our oceans, our long-protected coastal waters have suddenly become the focus of an Executive Order mandating a “review” of any National Marine Sanctuary designated or expanded within the past ten years. This now-pending interagency evaluation is expected to prioritize any potential for offshore oil and gas or frozen methane hydrates and subsea minerals that could be exploited if protection is removed. The current Administration’s “review” also directs federal agencies to make sure that an open public process with sufficient engagement by elected officials and interested citizens led to the designation of the affected waters, which accurately and exactly describes the bipartisan effort by which our National Marine Sanctuaries were each created.
From wave-splashed rugged coastal headlands to fishing communities to lush deepwater coral gardens, our coastal waters that have been protected or augmented within the past ten years are now being threatened.
A public comment period soliciting your own thoughts on these questions is now open, and you can quickly participate and add your personal response by clicking here: