National marine sanctuaries have champions in Congress. Established in the US House of Representatives in 2006, the National Marine Sanctuary Caucus is a bipartisan coalition whose members represent ocean and Great Lakes communities across the United States. These Members recognize the value of sanctuaries to ocean health, local economies and jobs, heritage, public access to recreation, education and community-building.
The Caucus is vital to raising awareness of sanctuaries in Congress and ensuring that adequate funding and resources are directed to their work. With support from the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation, the Caucus provides Members and their staffs with opportunities to learn about sanctuaries by sharing successes and priorities, serving as a unified voice in letters of support and hosting briefings, roundtables and other Hill events.
The Caucus is instrumental in making colleagues understand that sanctuaries’ work goes beyond protecting marine habitats. Caucus members effectively promote the economic opportunities for local businesses and job creation, the history and culture celebrated in these communities, education and research actively underway at the sites and how sanctuary research teams and local learning institutions are working collaboratively.
The National Marine Sanctuary Foundation encourages more Members of the House to join the Caucus.