Bank National Marine Sanctuary in Massachusetts to Receive Funds
for Resource Surveys and Visitor's Center
BUDGET SLATES $52 MILLION FOR NATIONAL MARINE SANCTUARY SYSTEM
David Miller, 202-482-6090
budget for the Commerce Department's National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration (NOAA) targets $52 million for the National Marine
Sanctuary System, including Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary
in Massachusetts. The amount includes $13 million in new funds
for the creation or upgrading of visitors facilities called
"Ocean Discovery Centers" at some sanctuaries.
At the Stellwagen Bank National
Marine Sanctuary a portion of this increase will be used to complete
revision of the management plan, which describes the actions to
be taken to protect and manage Sanctuary resources, increase awareness
of the Sanctuary in partnership with the whale watch industry,
investigate the submerged cultural resources of the Sanctuary,
and support visitors exhibits in Provincetown, MA and at
the New England Aquarium.
Bank National Marine Sanctuary is a true treasure for New England
and the whole nation to share," said Scott Gudes, acting
NOAA administrator and under secretary for oceans and atmosphere.
"These incredible underwater parks allow us to protect, conserve
and enhance areas that might not otherwise be here for future
Gudes added, "The continued
investment in our marine sanctuaries will allow for upgrading
the operating and technical capacity in the 13 marine sanctuaries."
The FY 2002 increase will be
used to improve protection of important sanctuary resources, including
coral reefs, endangered marine mammals, sensitive habitats and
significant cultural resources. In coming months, NOAA plans to
use vessels and aircraft to inventory natural and cultural resources
at all 13 sanctuaries, and the Northwest Hawaiian Islands coral
reserve, including activities conducted under the Sustainable
In 1972, exactly one hundred
years after the first national park was created, the Nation made
a similar commitment to preserving its marine treasures by establishing
the National Marine Sanctuary Program. Today there are 13 National
Marine Sanctuaries. They encompass deep ocean gardens, near shore
coral reefs, whale feeding and calving grounds, deep sea canyons
and even underwater archaeological sites. Together the sanctuaries
protect nearly 20,000 square miles of ocean waters and habitats.
While some activities are regulated or prohibited in sanctuaries
to protect resources, multiple uses consistent with resource protection
(such as recreation, commercial fishing and shipping) are allowed.
Research, education and outreach activities are major components
in each sanctuarys program.
NOAAs National Ocean Service
has managed marine sanctuaries since the passage of the Marine
Protection, Research and Sanctuaries Act of 1972, now called the
National Marine Sanctuaries Act.
The Presidents FY 2002
budget request for NOAA is available on the Internet at www.noaa.gov
To learn more about the National Marine Sanctuaries program visit