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Idea of the Day: Expanding the Protection of Our Marine Sanctuaries

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Public ownership and federal protection of America’s natural and historical treasures are essential elements of our nation’s identity and its heritage. Recent polling shows that protecting public spaces for future generations enjoys significant bipartisan support, and special designation and public ownership of these areas have been called one of America’s “best ideas.” Yet even though America’s ocean waters span a larger area than the combined total of all 50 U.S. states, protection of our natural and historical treasures has largely been confined to spaces on land.

Fortunately, in an action linked to President Barack Obama’s 2010 National Ocean Policy, his administration is seeking to reactivate a long-dormant process for identifying and designating new National Marine Sanctuaries—federally protected areas within U.S. ocean waters and Great Lakes waters that harbor special natural, historical, or cultural resources. A new proposed rule would allow public nominations for sites to be designated as “Sanctuaries,” thereby putting the federal government to work for coastal communities and conferring better protection upon our nation’s most-special offshore places.

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Print: Katie Peters (economy, education, poverty, Half in Ten Education Fund, women's issues)
202.741.6285 or kpeters@americanprogress.org

Print: Tom Caiazza (foreign policy, health care, LGBT issues, gun-violence prevention, the National Security Agency)
202.481.7141 or tcaiazza@americanprogress.org

Print: Chelsea Kiene (energy and environment, Legal Progress, higher education)
202.478.5328 or ckiene@americanprogress.org

Spanish-language and ethnic media: Tanya Arditi
202.741.6258 or tarditi@americanprogress.org

TV: Rachel Rosen
202.483.2675 or rrosen@americanprogress.org

Radio: Chelsea Kiene
202.478.5328 or ckiene@americanprogress.org

 

This is part of a regular column: Idea of the Day

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