National Marine Sanctuaries Archives

National Marine Sanctuaries

Our National Marine Sanctuaries are some of the most valuable areas in our oceans. Sanctuary habitats include coral and rocky reefs, ocean gardens and kelp forests, whale migrations corridors, deep sea canyons and safe habitat for endangered species.

But if Trump and his Big Oil cronies get their way, these waters could be opened for drilling. Despite overwhelming opposition in the form of public comments, Department of Interior called for gutting three marine National Monuments: Northeast Canyons and Seamounts, Pacific Remote Islands and Rose Atoll.

The U.S. West Coast claims 15,333 square miles of marine protected areas around the Channel Islands, Cordell Bank, Greater Farallones and Monterey Bay in California and Washington’s Olympic Coast sanctuary. The Pacific Islands are home to the largest marine protected area in the United States, stretching the length of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, and a humpback whale habitat is protected in the main Hawaiian Islands. Fagatele Bay on the island of Tutuila in American Samoa also has sanctuary protection.

The East Coast, Great Lakes and Gulf of Mexico are host to over 5,000 square miles of sanctuary waters including areas in the Florida Keys, Gray’s Reef off Georgia, Flower Garden Banks in the Gulf, Stellwagen off the New England coast, Monitor off of North Carolina coast and Thunder Bay in Lake Huron.

Our sanctuaries are unique places and should be some of the first places protected from environmental harms. Unfortunately, with the explosion of vessel traffic, including cruise ship traffic in U.S. oceans, our marine sanctuaries remain under serious threat of degradation from vessel discharges – in addition to attacks by the Trump Administration. We need your help now more than ever to safeguard our oceans and the ecosystems they support.

Latest News See All
Trump Administration to open oceans for corporate polluters to drill for oil

The reckless move by the Trump Administration to pursue increased offshore oil drilling is an appalling attack on our already imperiled communities.

Obama moves to protect millions of acres of ocean from Trump

Today’s announcement is a major victory for our oceans and climate. Our offshore areas need permanent protection in the face of Donald Trump’s pledge to expand offshore drilling and his cabinet’s ties to Big Oil.

Feds block offshore Arctic drilling, allow new oil and gas leases in Gulf

Unfortunately, Donald Trump has made it clear that he wants to return to the days of ‘drill baby drill.’ That’s why President Obama must use his remaining days in office to permanently keep as much of our lands and waters from Trump and his oil cronies as possible.

Latest Blog Posts See All
Ship Shape: No more dumping in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary
Ship Shape: No more dumping in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary

The 3,801 square-mile Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary supports one of the most diverse assemblages of underwater plants and animals in North America – but it has been threatened by ship sewage.

Nano in the Gulf oil spill: Two wrongs don’t make a right
Nano in the Gulf oil spill: Two wrongs don’t make a right

A corporation has asked the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to approve one of their products containing manufactured nanoparticles for oil clean-up in the Gulf of Mexico.  We sent a letter to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson demanding this risky experiment not be allowed, citing the many health concerns posed by…

Our Recommendations to Obama’s Ocean Task Force
Our Recommendations to Obama’s Ocean Task Force

Friends of the Earth submitted comments to President Barack Obama’s Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force, led by the White House Council on Environmental Quality.  We commend President Obama for addressing the critical need for a national policy unifying ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes protections and we make recommendations for improving…