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The first new National Marine Sanctuary in many years, which will be the closest one to the nation’s Capitol, took another important step toward final approval last Friday when the final Environmental Impact Statement for the sanctuary was published in the Federal Register.
The proposed sanctuary in the Chesapeake Bay is expected to be finalized by the end of 2019 and will be the first designated in 19 years.
The Mallows Bay-Potomac River National Marine Sanctuary would cover 18 square miles contains a unique and rich legacy that spans American history, from Native American culture to Revolutionary and Civil War era activity to industrial era steamboat transports and historic commercial fishing operations.
Its most prominent feature is the “Ghost Fleet,” or the remains of more than 200 shipwrecks, including more than 100 wooden steamships built as part of America’s engagement in World War I that are oftentimes emergent above the waterline.
Why This Matters: This Saturday is World Ocean Day, and it is often a time when areas like this are set aside for protection. It is more important than ever to preserve ocean habitat for biodiversity and cultural treasures for future generation. This bi-partisan action, that is a partnership between federal, state and local government agencies, is a great success and final designation will be a win for everyone involved.
By Ashira Morris, ODP Staff Writer Last summer, Florida created its first aquatic preserve in over 30 years. The Nature Coast Aquatic Preserve protects about 400,000 acres of seagrass just north of Tampa on Florida’s Gulf coast. These are part of the Gulf of Mexico’s largest seagrass bed and borders other existing preserves, creating a […]
A new study has found that whale songs can be a powerful tool for mapping the ocean floor. Seismic testing done by humans can harm whales and other marine life, but by using whale songs instead, scientists believe the practice can be adapted to be much less harmful to marine populations.
Why This Matters: For years, the fossil fuel industry has hauled “seismic guns” behind large boats, blasting loud, harmful bursts of sound that disturb sea life and impair the sonar of animals like whales and dolphins.
Much as our national parks on land are some of our greatest natural treasures, marine national monuments safeguard precious ecosystems and protect them now and for future generations. The National Marine Sanctuary System encompasses more than 600,000 square miles of marine and Great Lakes waters, and contains amazing cultural and historical resources, as well as […]
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