WASHINGTON, June 10, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Counselor to the President John Podesta announced today that The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is releasing the final rule reopening the Sanctuary Nomination and Evaluation Process. The announcement came during Podesta's keynote address at Capitol Hill Ocean Week® (CHOW).
The rulemaking allows Americans to nominate areas in our ocean and Great Lakes as national marine sanctuaries. NOAA has been unable to accept new nominations since 1995. Learn more at www.NMSFocean.org/sanctuary-nomination-process.
"This rulemaking not only opens the door to new national marine sanctuaries for the first time in 20 years; it turns the process upside down," said Jason Patlis, President and CEO. "For the first time ever, it will be local communities who most care about these places leading the effort to protect them."
There are currently 14 national marine sanctuaries, as compared to thousands of designations to protect public lands. This rulemaking will finally allow America to recognize places of national significance for the nation's ocean and Great Lakes.
CHOW takes place June 10-12 in Washington. Hosted by the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation (NMSF), CHOW brings together policymakers, industry leaders, scientists, academics and conservationists to shape marine policy and provoke conversation about critical ocean and coastal issues.
Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell will deliver a keynote address at 1pm on Wednesday. The conference features 12 sessions on topics including climate change, energy, fisheries, human health, and media.
CHOW includes NMSF's 12th annual Ocean Awards Gala on June 10. The evening will honor Sen. Carl Levin, Hon. William Ruckelshaus and Hon. Norman Mineta, and Robyn Walters as National Marine Sanctuary Volunteer of the Year.
NMSF appreciates the support of CHOW 2014's honorary congressional committee.
CHOW is made possible by the generous support of its partners and sponsors.
About the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation
NMSF enhances national marine sanctuaries in their goal to protect essential U.S. marine areas and to ensure a healthy ocean. Through public-private partnerships, NMSF fosters scientific research, funds conservation projects, supports educational programs, and advocates for public policies on behalf of these special places representing the best hope for the ocean and Great Lakes. Learn more at www.NMSFocean.org.
SOURCE National Marine Sanctuary Foundation