Thursday, January 12, 2017

NOAA Lists 13 Good Things for the Seas in 2016

C. Coimbra photo

  1. We are days away from formally proposing the first two national marine sanctuary designations in nearly 20 years– Wisconsin-Lake Michigan and Mallows Bay – Potomac River.
  2. We approved two new national marine sanctuary nominations for the inventory: Lake Erie Quadrangle and Chumash Heritage.
  3. We also have received four new nominations for national marine sanctuaries: Mariana Trench, Baltimore Canyon Urban, Hudson Canyon, and St. George Unangan Heritage.
  4. Building on more than 30 years of scientific studies, we announced a proposal to expand Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary to protect additional critical Gulf of Mexico habitat.
  5. We proposed the expansion of Monitor National Marine Sanctuary to include additional WWII heritage sites.
  6. Using cutting-edge technologies, including manned submersibles, 3D laser scans and photogrammetry, we conducted research to document and preserve an important World War II battlefield found off the North Carolina coast near the shipwreck site of the USS Monitor.
  7. On March 23, we joined the U.S. Navy to announce the discovery of the USS Conestoga, a Navy tugboat, in Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary, 95 years after it sank with a 56-man crew aboard.
  8. We published the inaugural issue of “Earth is Blue: Magazine of the National Marine Sanctuaries.”
  9. Focusing in on diversity and inclusion, we formed the ONMS People’s Committee and provided funding for six projects designed to enhance our diversity and inclusion.
  10. On June 25-26, sanctuaries across the system welcomed the public to the second national “Get into Your Sanctuary” celebration under the unifying theme of building awareness of these iconic destinations and encouraging responsible enjoyment of their natural and cultural resources. More than 8,000 visitors took part in sanctuary activities that included guided kayak, maritime history and eco-tours.
  11. On August 26, President Obama signed a proclamation expanding Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. Previously the largest contiguous fully-protected conservation area in the United States at 139,797 square miles, the expanded boundaries made (for a short while) it once again the biggest protected area on the planet at 582,578 square miles, nearly the size of the Gulf of Mexico.
  12. In September we hosted 10,000 people from 192 different countries around the world at the World Conservation Congress in Hawaii. Our team put national marine sanctuaries, marine national monuments, and marine protected areas on world stage and a very positive light.
  13. In December, we held our first ever Sanctuary System Recreational Fishing Summit with members from advisory councils to continue to improve our efforts to support and improve recreational experiences in sanctuaries.

---From NOAA

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