FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Connie Barclay
Daniel J. Basta, a 21-year veteran of NOAA's National Ocean Service, has been named the new director of the National Marine Sanctuary Program. Basta brings his extensive experience in environmental quality and natural resources management to the vital task of improving and enhancing NOS's ability to preserve the country's marine treasures.
Basta joined NOS in 1979 working in the Office of Coastal Zone Resource Management. In 1983, he became the founding chief of the Strategic Assessment Branch, which later became the Special Projects Office for NOS.
"Throughout Dan's 25 years in environmental quality and natural resource management, his expertise has focused on the integration aspects of complex assessment and management problems," said NOAA Administrator, D. James Baker. "He is a proven leader with a vision for the future. I am very pleased he has agreed to become the director of the sanctuary program."
Basta earned a bachelor's of science in industrial engineering from Hofstra University and a master's of science in engineering and policy sciences from the State University of New York at Stony Brook.
"Dan takes the helm for the National Marine Sanctuary Program during exciting and changing times for the National Ocean Service," said Margaret Davidson, NOS acting assistant administrator. "He has the experience and the commitment to handle this important job. Dan is a problem solver, he's co-authored more than 50 publications in his field, and he has the integrity needed to manage such an important program."
In 1972, exactly 100 years after the first national park was created, the nation made a similar commitment to preserving its marine treasures by establishing the National Marine Sanctuary Program. Since then, thirteen national marine sanctuaries, representing a wide variety of ocean and coastal environments, have been designated.
Today, the marine sanctuary program encompasses deep ocean gardens, near shore coral reefs, whale migration corridors, deep sea canyons, and even underwater archeological sites. Together these sanctuaries protect nearly 18,000 square miles of ocean waters and habitats.
NOAA's National Ocean Service is the nation's
principal advocate for coastal and ocean stewardship.