Proposed Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary

2023's Final Comment Period Was a BIG Success!

January 24, 2024

The Chumash Sanctuary 2023 Final Comment Period Turnout:

There was record breaking support for the proposed Chumash Sanctuary in the final public comment period from August to October 2023. Thank you to the thousands of participants and partners who made this astounding turnout possible!

102,782 comments submitted to NOAA

99% of comments support Sanctuary designation

NCTC’s petition alone had over 10,000 signatures

All the supportive petitions combined had over 100,000 signatures

100s of Organizations, Tribes, Businesses & Coalitions commented


1000s of Central Coast residents

1000s of Californians

Voices from all 50 states & 15 Countries

The majority of comments joined the Northern Chumash Tribal Council in advocating for the biggest possible boundaries for the Chumash Sanctuary, with borders from Cambria to Gaviota extending over 7,500 square miles.

But it's not over yet... What's Next?

The next six months are essential to make sure the Chumash Sanctuary gets designated! We’re so close, but not over the finish line yet. Your engagement is so important in these final months.

It is urgent that the Chumash Sanctuary is designated before Fall 2024. NOAA’s target is to have designation decision made by mid-2024. But mid-2024 is ambitious and we MUST hold the Biden-Harris Administration to this deadline.

Right now, NOAA is reading and preparing responses to the Fall 2023 comments. Then, NOAA creates the final Chumash Sanctuary documents, informed by the comments. The documents are then reviewed, with an inter-agency review, a congressional review and review by the California Governor. Learn more about NOAA’s designation process.

How can you help?

Your voice still matters! Here’s how to make it count:

  1. Spread the Word: Invite your friends to sign up for our email list too
  2. Stay Tuned: Follow us on social media
  3. Amplify: re-post our social media or forward our email updates
  4. Join In: Sign up to volunteer
  5. Help Out: Donate to our work

Thank you for protecting Grandmother Ocean & our communities!

Photo of sea otter with hands clasped with navy blue and white text that reads "Thank you!"
Copyright © 2024 · Chumash National Marine Sanctuary
All photos, unless otherwise specified, are available by public domain courtesy of NOAA ONMS. 
All other content may not be redistributed without express written permission of the Northern Chumash Tribal Council.
All material is protected under Article 31 of the UN Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.Website by Sophie Marsh Design Co.
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