Support the Designation of the Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary

It’s time to support the Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary. We need your voice!   

Located along the Central California coastline, the proposed Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary is a culturally and biologically diverse seascape. These waters are an essential part of numerous Central Coast Tribes. The proposed sanctuary would protect culturally sacred sites, feeding grounds for numerous species of whales and dolphins, sea otter populations, and kelp forests. 

On August 25, 2023, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) published a proposed rule, draft management plan, and draft environmental impact statement for the proposed sanctuary, whose nomination is led by the Northern Chumash Tribal Council. NOAA is now accepting public comments on these draft documents. 

Sign our letter using the form to the right to tell NOAA that you support designating the proposed Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary.

The waters off the Central Coast of California are some of the most biologically diverse and ecologically productive regions in the world. The proposed sanctuary contains a key transition zone that includes vital upwelling supporting kelp forests, wetlands, estuaries and rookeries. These diverse habitats are crucial for vulnerable species such as the endangered western snowy plover and the threatened southern sea otter and are also designated critical habitat for several species including the Chinook salmon and the leatherback sea turtle. 

The proposed sanctuary protects waters that are essential to the heritage of numerous Central Coast Tribes and Pacific ocean voyaging tribes predating European colonization. The island and marine ecosystems co-evolved with these tribes and their culture and traditions that continue today. In addition to submerged Chumash historic and cultural resources, there are also over 40 known historic shipwrecks in the region. Sanctuary designation would preserve these wrecks in perpetuity, allowing for the study and interpretation of these historically, culturally, and archaeologically distinctive national treasures. 

Urge the Administration to designate the proposed Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary so this site can receive the national recognition it deserves. 

Deadline to comment: Wednesday, October 25, 2023

Read the Full Letter


Learn more about the proposed Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary.