Conservation & Science

Action alert: Help protect our national marine sanctuaries  

Our blue parks are a source of pride for Californians, and all Americans. They are living proof that the sustainable use of our ocean goes hand in hand with robust coastal economies, valuable fisheries and thriving marine habitats.

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A white shark swims in the nutrient-rich waters of Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary. Photo by Steven K. Webster/Monterey Bay Aquarium

But millions of acres of protected U.S. waters could be opened up for offshore oil and gas drilling, following an executive order issued in April, titled “Implementing an America-First Offshore Energy Strategy.”

Now is the time to speak up in defense of our national marine sanctuaries and monuments. A 30-day public comment period, which opened up in late June, is part of a federal review called for by the executive order.

UPDATE: The deadline for public comments has been extended. We now have until August 14 to make our voices heard. 

1. Add your comment to the Federal Register.

2. Check out our suggested talking points below.

The federal review targets parts of four national marine sanctuaries in California— Monterey Bay, Cordell Bank, Greater Farallones and Channel Islands—along with seven other sanctuaries and monuments in U.S. waters.

American national marine sanctuaries were created with bipartisan support, extensive scientific input and broad community participation. They generate billions of dollars each year, driving coastal tourism and supporting healthy fisheries.

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Fisherman’s Wharf in Monterey is one example of the economic benefits of our national marine sanctuaries. Photo ©Steve Kepple

“Monterey Bay Aquarium will do all we can to support our national marine sanctuaries, and to work for policies that protect vulnerable coastal communities from the threats that accompany offshore oil and gas development,” Aquarium Executive Director Julie Packard said.

The public comment period is open through August 14. Please lend your voice! Visit the Federal Register Comment Page and tell the White House why the U.S. must continue to protect our precious national marine sanctuaries and monuments.

Here are some suggested points for your public comment:

Personalized messages get more attention. When you post your comment to the Federal Register, please use the talking points most relevant to where you live, and add your own perspective on what our nation’s protected waters mean to you. You can also upload a photo of a treasured memory at your local national marine sanctuary.


If you live or work in the Monterey Bay region, note that the executive order targets the 2009 expansion of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary to include Davidson Seamount.

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Clockwise from upper left: cnidarian, bubblegum coral, mushroom coral, jellyfish and octopus in the Davidson Seamount, part of Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Photos by NOAA/Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute via CC BY 2.0.

– I live/work in the Central Coast of California, and I am proud to have the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary in my backyard. The Sanctuary’s 2009 expansion to include Davidson Seamount was the result of seven years of public input and agency collaboration.

Davidson Seamount is one of the world’s largest underwater volcanoes, safeguarding critical habitat for amazing deep-sea creatures and providing productive feeding grounds for an abundance of fish, marine mammals and seabirds. The Sanctuary was expanded to increase protections for the exceptional marine wildlife and habitats that help drive our economy and inspire our way of life.

– Please maintain the full extent of protections for the Davidson Seamount and the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.


If you live or work in California, note that the executive order targets the 2009 expansion of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, the 2007 expansion of the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary, the 2015 expansion of Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary and the 2015 expansion of the Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary.

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Elephant seals bask in the sun in the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary. Photo by NOAA via CC BY 2.0

– I live/work in ___, California, and I am proud that my state is home to four national marine sanctuaries. The expansions of Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary, Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary and the Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary each involved years of public input and agency collaboration.

– They were expanded to increase science-based protections for the exceptional marine wildlife and habitats that help drive our economy and inspire our way of life.

– Please maintain the full extent of protections for each of the California National Marine Sanctuaries.


If you live outside of California, note that in addition to above, the executive order also targets the 2009 designation of the Rose Atoll Marine National Monument, the 2014 expansion of the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary, the 2016 expansion of the Papahanaumokuakea National Marine Sanctuary, the 2009 designation and 2014 expansion of the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument, the 2016 designation of the Northeast Coral Canyons and Seamounts marine National Monument, and the 2012 expansion of the National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa.

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Schools of fish swim above a coral reef in Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. Photo by James Watt/NOAA Office of Marine National Sanctuaries via CC BY 2.0

– I am proud to live in a country that protects its unique and valuable natural resources, especially wildlife and habitats in our ocean and Great Lakes. I strongly support full protection for each of our national marine sanctuaries and national marine monuments.

– These areas were designated and expanded with bipartisan support, scientific input and broad community participation. They protect the long-term health of natural resources that enhance the well-being of local communities, and contribute billions to the U.S. economy.

– Please maintain the full extent of protections for each of the nation’s National Marine Sanctuaries and National Marine Monuments.

Thank you for using your voice to protect our national underwater treasures. Together, we can build a better future for our blue planet.


Featured photo: A humpback whale breaches in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.

Learn more about Conservation & Science at Monterey Bay Aquarium

120 thoughts on “Action alert: Help protect our national marine sanctuaries  ”

  1. – I live/work in San Jose, California, and I am proud that my state is home to four national marine sanctuaries. The expansions of Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary, Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary and the Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary each involved years of public input and agency collaboration.

    – They were expanded to increase science-based protections for the exceptional marine wildlife and habitats that help drive our economy and inspire our way of life.

    – Please maintain the full extent of protections for each of the California National Marine Sanctuaries.

    Like

  2. I am very proud to live in a country that protects its unique and valuable natural resources, especially wildlife and habitats in our ocean and Great Lakes. I strongly support full protection for each of our national marine sanctuaries and national marine monuments. Thanks for the consideration.

    Like

  3. Please continue to protect the Natural Marine Sanctuaries! We need the sea otters and all the creatures of the ocean to be protected from oil spills, etc. Thank you!

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  4. I tried leaving my comment, which needed an exact character amount….and then it would not let me post it saying that there were errors needing to be fixed while it showed none that needed to be adjusted.

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  5. Politicians will come and go.. If they choose to do damage while in office their legacy will show that. In the end, they are only as good as their efforts to protest the people, the land, and the creatures. Marine Sanctuaries are there for a reason. Any grade school child can explain that.

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  6. Dear Congress,

    Please protect sea otters and our precious California coast ecosystem from oil spills. We do not need oil drilling in California. Please protecr Monterey Bay Aquarium.

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  7. All of our animal sanctuaries need to be protected. Allowing big oil access to our natural resources for them to make big money on the backs of the American people and at the expense of our other natural national treasures is not good policy. Please protect our natural habitats from possible destruction and protect the American people from big business gouging by not allowing these big companies access to these protected areas.

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  8. I live and work in San Rafael, California, and I am proud that my state is home to four national marine sanctuaries. The expansions of Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary, Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary and the Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary each involved years of public input and agency collaboration.

    They were expanded to increase science-based protections for the exceptional marine wildlife and habitats that help drive our economy and inspire our way of life.

    I have just viewed the film “Chasing Coral” and was sickened to see what global warming is doing to our coal reefs. We have to do better to globally protect our oceans and marine habitats. I am asking that our Government protect these Sanctuaries for the future generations. I am a native of California and have swam in the ocean since I was a small child. Born in Los Angeles in 1959 it has been a great joy of mine to enjoy the wonderful marine life I have discovered and interacted with from California to the Islands of Hawaii.

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  9. California has a spectacular coastline and abundant marine life. The marine conservation effort in California is exemplary. I can’t imagine that anyone would be willing to sacrifice this exceptional natural habitat, which is diminishing around the US and in the world. We have so enjoyed it and it is our responsibility to leave it intact for the coming generations. I urge the White House to reconsider its position.

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  10. I urge our Congress and President to continue the protections of our blue parks(oceans) for America. Keep America first-first in conservation of our beautiful and richly diverse natural resources-first in wide open spaces with room to enjoy-first in eco-tourism and learning centers to teach our children and adults how to keep America Great! Our oceans and rivers and streams need our constant help. Please don’t let America down-

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  11. I support conservation efforts of our oceans in the long term interests of this country’s health. Please consider that our oceans are part of what makes America great. Let’s focus on alternatives to fossil fuels rather than sacrificing our precious oceanic ecosystems to maintain our unsustainable habits.

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  12. I shouldn’t have to tell you how important it is to keep this sanctuaries, well f***ing sanctuaries!
    Don’t give in to money, which is the only reason I can see you’d do this to these sea otters.
    You can’t tell me there won’t be a spill. There is always an oil spill. And I’m not going to let you potentially harm any of these creatures with greed.
    Go shove that money up ur b***, nice and tight. Because the otters are here to stay.

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  13. I am from the beautiful golden state of California and losing our sanctuaries would be deviating to our beautiful coastal environment! The sea otters eat creatures like urchins who eat the kelp. So do what’s right congress and listen to your people!

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  14. I am from the Bay Area in California originally but study Marine Biology at the Univeristy of Oregon. I support the efforts and contributions to help protect and conserve our marine environments and ecosystems. It is vital to protect our National Marine Sanctuaries. These marine sanctuaries were established sanctuaries for a reason. They play such and important part in our environment and especially the Pacific Coast, which is one of the most diverse and unique coasts in the country. The ocean can provide so much information about what’s happening in the world. Protecting theses Marine Sanctuaries shows that as Americans we value what’s not only best for our country, but what is best for the greater good of the plants and world. These environments and marine life provide enjoyment, education, economic growth, and leading research that benefits our country and planet. I am proud to live in a country that has values the importance of the environment and and marine life for years and hope that the future of our country will continue making American proud by protecting Marine Sanctuaries and environment.

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  15. – I live/work in Los Angeles, California, and I am proud that my state is home to four national marine sanctuaries. Please maintain the full extent of protections for each of them. They are important for our state, our country, and our planet.

    Like

  16. The Protection of the Oceans is vital for all of us. I urge our Congress and President to continue the protections of our Oceans and help keep the creatures of those waters safe and healthy. They rely on us to protect them and their environment for future generations.

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  17. I live in the San Francisco Bay area and have been going to Monterey and the Monterey Bay Aquarium since I was a small child. Now that I have children, I am proud to take them to this beautiful sanctuary where they can learn about marine life and what they can do to protect and sustain it. I urge you to keep all of the protections in place for this sanctuary and the others in our country.

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  18. Please continue to protect our marine life. Our oceans, if we lose them, we lose our homes. Life depends on the oceans. Taking away from the marine environment will take away from all life on EARTH. Please protect all marine sanctuaries.

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  19. Our oceans needs more protection alone I see how people leave their trash behind and it’s so sad because I want my daughter to grow up and continue to enjoy our beautiful beach.

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  20. I have visited Monterey Bay from the UK a number of times to carry out research for my PhD. Without the valuable material I have collected I would not have been able to progress with my studies in the way that I have. The opportunity to go out into the bay and view whales and dolphins and sea lions all feeding together in their natural environment it’s an amazing opportunity. Any changes to the oceans with less access or protection to the incredibly rich environment would affect the delicate balance and ecology within the bay. It’s very important that we have more and not less protection.

    Like

  21. I am proud to live in a country that protects its unique and valuable natural resources, especially wildlife and habitats in our ocean and Great Lakes. I strongly support full protection for each of our national marine sanctuaries and national marine monuments

    Please maintain the full extent of protections for each of the nation’s National Marine Sanctuaries and National Marine Monuments.

    Like

  22. I’m proud of our country’s National Parks and protection of animals whose habitats are nevertheless being decimated, especially in order to produce more pollutants of our planet such as gas and oil. No matter where this happens it is a crime against all of us no matter where we live. Do those in industry and those legislators who support them believe that the world is dying anyway so they might as well get rich today or do they just not care.

    I am sick over our irretrievable losses.

    Like

  23. Leave our oceans alone…..your poor choice of disturbing our bay will destroy the healthy sanctuary that is home to keystone wildlife, without them we may all perish

    Like

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