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.
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.
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.
“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.
– 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.
– 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.
– 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