FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Justin Kenney
Secretary of Commerce William Daley submitted
legislation to Congress today
"Marine sanctuaries are part of our national commitment to protect the oceans," said secretary Daley. "A National Marine Sanctuary Foundation chartered by Congress will allow corporate and individual donors to support the exploration, understanding, and conservation of these special places in the sea."
The National Marine Sanctuary Foundation would serve as the official nonprofit partner to America's marine sanctuaries; engage people in rewarding volunteer activities along our beaches, on the water, and under the waves; promote exploration and research partnerships to meet the challenges of ocean conservation; and support existing sanctuary "friends groups."
"Marine sanctuaries have historically enjoyed bipartisan support, and we are pleased that the same support exists today for a National Marine Sanctuary Foundation," said Dr. D. James Baker, under secretary for oceans and atmosphere. Secretary Daley and under secretary Baker would serve as advisors to a board of directors comprised of citizens from across the country.
In 1972, Congress created the National Marine Sanctuary Program as an ocean counterpart to the national parks. Today the Department of Commerce's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration administers 12 marine sanctuaries that protect more than 18,000 square miles of coral reefs, kelp forests, and open ocean. Marine sanctuaries are home to endangered humpback whales, sea turtles, sea otters, and manatees. They protect and promote our maritime history. Each year millions of people visit marine sanctuaries to swim, sail, scuba dive, and fish and thousands of students, teachers, and volunteers participate in sanctuary-sponsored activities. Marine sanctuaries can be found near Boston, Miami, Santa Barbara, Calif., San Francisco, Monterey, Calif., Seattle, Savannah, Ga., and Honolulu.
For more information on NOAA's marine sanctuaries,