National Marine Sanctuary Foundation Applauds Steps Toward New Sanctuaries in New York and Alaska

National Marine Sanctuary Foundation Applauds Steps Toward New Sanctuaries in New York and Alaska


Silver Spring, Md. – June 8, 2022 – The National Marine Sanctuary Foundation commends the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for initiating the designation process of Hudson Canyon, off the coast of New York City, to become a new national marine sanctuary, and for placing Alaĝum Kanuux̂ (Heart of the Ocean) in Alaska into the inventory of areas it could consider for potential designation as a national marine sanctuary. 

Kris Sarri, president and CEO of the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation, said, “National marine sanctuaries protect our most iconic ocean and Great Lake waters.  They protect unique ecosystems, extraordinary seascapes, and treasured places for people to enjoy.  

“Hudson Canyon in an incredible underwater seascape that holds untold treasures yet to be discovered. As we approach the 50th anniversary of the National Marine Sanctuaries Act, spectacular places like Hudson Canyon deserves protection to conserve biodiversity and its contributions to people. 

“Alaĝum Kanuux̂ (Heart of the Ocean) is a vital seascape that has nourished the culture of Unangax̂ people for thousands of years. A sanctuary designation is an opportunity to center Indigenous wisdom and culture in ocean conservation.” “These actions are critical steps forward in advancing the America the Beautiful initiative and the goal of conserving 30 percent of our waters by 2030 to address climate change, stem marine biodiversity loss and create more equitable access to nature.” 

The National Marine Sanctuary System will celebrate its 50th anniversary in October 2022. The 50th anniversary’s theme, “Save Spectacular,” is a celebration of our great waters to demonstrate the importance of national marine sanctuaries, inviting all people to discover the wonders of these protected waters and work together as stewards to conserve our ocean and Great Lakes.

About Hudson Canyon Located just over 100 miles southeast of New York City and rivaling the depth and scale of the Grand Canyon, Hudson Canyon is the largest submarine canyon along the United States’ Atlantic coast and one of the largest in the world. Hudson Canyon is rich in biodiversity and provides habitat to a remarkable diversity of marine life, including deep sea corals, sharks, whales, and hundreds of species of fishes, sea turtles, seabirds, and invertebrates.   

About Alaĝum Kanuux̂ 

The proposed Alaĝum Kanuux̂ (Heart of the Ocean) nomination, proposed by the Unangax̂ community of St. Paul Island Tribal Government, would preserve Unangax̂ culture, protect vital breeding and feeding habitat for more than half of the world’s population of northern fur seals as well as important habitat for Steller sea lions, harbor seals, many whale species and more than three million seabirds, and is home to some of the world’s most productive commercial fisheries. The Pribilof Islands ecosystem is facing climate change impacts at unprecedented rates. The Alaĝum Kanuux̂ nomination would be the first sanctuary in the Alaska region and the first based on co-management with a federally recognized tribe.  


The National Marine Sanctuary Foundation, established in 2000, is the official non-profit partner of the National Marine Sanctuary System. The Foundation directly supports America’s national marine sanctuaries through our mission to protect species, conserve ecosystems and preserve cultural and maritime heritage. We accomplish our mission through community stewardship and engagement programs, on-the-water conservation projects, public education and outreach programs, and scientific research and exploration. The Foundation fosters innovative projects that are solution-oriented, scalable and transferable, and develop strategic partnerships that promote the conservation and recovery of species and their habitats. Learn more at 


Contact: Chip Weiskotten 

Director of Strategic Communications