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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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To speak with our experts on this topic, please contact:

Print: Liz Bartolomeo (poverty, health care)
202.481.8151 or

Print: Tom Caiazza (foreign policy, energy and environment, LGBT issues, gun-violence prevention)
202.481.7141 or

Print: Allison Preiss (economy, education)
202.478.6331 or

Print: Tanya Arditi (immigration, Progress 2050, race issues, demographics, criminal justice, Legal Progress)
202.741.6258 or

Print: Chelsea Kiene (women's issues,, faith)
202.478.5328 or

Print: Benton Strong (Center for American Progress Action Fund)
202.481.8142 or

Spanish-language and ethnic media: Jennifer Molina
202.796.9706 or

TV: Rachel Rosen
202.483.2675 or

Radio: Chelsea Kiene
202.478.5328 or


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

For more from the same column, click here