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Protect Our Coastal Communities

Photo credit: Claire Fackler/NOAA

Protect Our Coastal Communities. We need your voice!

Our marine sanctuaries and monuments are national treasures that protect natural, cultural, and historic resources in the ocean and Great Lakes. As the Administration seeks to open more of America’s offshore waters to oil and gas exploration and development, they need to hear from you.

The National Marine Sanctuary Foundation wants to ensure your voice is heard!

Protect Our Coastal Communities!

Dear Secretary Zinke,

Our marine sanctuaries and monuments are national treasures that protect natural, cultural and historic resources in the ocean and Great Lakes on behalf of the American people. These iconic places protect our country’s national and natural heritage and serve as the backbone for of many communities and economies.

Across all national marine sanctuaries, about $8 billion annually is generated in coastal economies from diverse activities like fishing, research, education and recreation and tourism. Over 42 million people visit sanctuaries each year. From restaurants and hotels to aquariums and kayak operators, the success of many businesses, millions of dollars in sales and thousands of jobs, directly depend on thriving national marine sanctuaries.

National marine sanctuaries are grounded in the community. The National Marine Sanctuary Act emphasizes community participation and engagement to ensure that each national marine sanctuary considers the unique needs of interested communities. On the ground science, local advisory councils with representation across the community, public meetings and comment periods inform the development of the management plans and regulations. The federal government, as trustee of these areas for all Americans, should not modify marine sanctuary or marine monument protections through the 2019-2024 Draft Proposed Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program, but instead, continue to rely on the community-driven process that has so successfully balanced competing interests and uses.

We strongly urge the Administration to maintain the current protections for national marine sanctuaries and marine national monuments.

CC: Secretary Ross

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