Foundation Statement on the American Conservation and Stewardship Atlas

Silver Spring, Md. – April 24, 2024The Biden-Harris Administration released the American Conservation and Stewardship Atlas, reflecting progress to date toward America the Beautiful and 30×30 conservation goals in our lands and waters. The National Marine Sanctuary Foundation released the following statement from President and CEO Joel R. Johnson:

“It is no exaggeration to say that protecting our lands and waters is critical to the future of the planet. The American Conservation and Stewardship Atlas shows that we are making good progress, but there is much work to be done to ensure we have equitable, geographically representative, and ecologically connected marine protected areas.

“We look toward the designation of new national marine sanctuaries in the Great Lakes, the Pacific and the Mid-Atlantic in the coming months and years as an important next step. But it is equally important to invest in existing protected areas to ensure they remain sources for solutions to global challenges.

“Our work to protect nature must advance justice and support strong stewardship from local communities and indigenous peoples to fully achieve true protections. The Ocean Justice Strategy, the Ocean Climate Action Plan, and upcoming biodiversity strategies should act as roadmaps to meet this moment.

“Expanding and investing in protected waters, including the National Marine Sanctuary System, through implementation of America the Beautiful is the way to meet the challenges of climate change, biodiversity loss, and equitable access to nature.”


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