Proposed Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary

How Is a National Marine Sanctuary Established?

The proposed Chumash Heritage Sanctuary has completed the nomination process and as of November 9, 2021 has entered the Scoping period of the designation process.

Nomination Process: 

1

Community Builds a Nomination

A group of people who care passionately about protecting an area of our nation's marine or Great Lakes waters comes together to develop a nomination. This consists of gathering key information about the special place they wish to nominate and developing broad community support for the nomination.

2

Community Submits Nomination to NOAA

Submitting a nomination to NOAA is straightforward. Once the necessary information has been gathered, the community submits its nomination to NOAA.

3

NOAA's Initial Review

In our initial review, we will look at whether or not the nomination contains enough of the information we need. If the proposal does not meet the basic requirements, NOAA may decline it or send it back to the community for additional information.

4

Taking a Closer Look

A nomination that meets the minimum requirements will move on to the next round of review, where NOAA will take a closer look at all the different factors that make the nominated place a potential candidate for sanctuary designation. Throughout this process, NOAA will work with the community to answer any questions that arise, and NOAA may bring in external reviewers as needed.

4

Nomination is Accepted

When a nomination successfully passes the review phase, NOAA will notify the community that all the requirements have been met and the nomination has been accepted.

6

Nominated Area Added to Inventory

As mentioned above, NOAA will place successful nominations in an inventory of areas it could consider for potential designation as a national marine sanctuary. Addition to the inventory does not guarantee that a nominated area will become a sanctuary.

Designation Process: 

The National Marine Sanctuaries Act allows NOAA to identify, designate and protect areas of the marine and Great Lakes environment with special national significance due to their conservation, recreational, ecological, historical, scientific, cultural, archaeological, educational, or aesthetic qualities as national marine sanctuaries.

NOAA identifies areas to consider for national marine sanctuary designation through the community-based Sanctuary Nomination Process. Nominations that successfully complete the process are added to an inventory of areas NOAA could consider for designation. The process for designating a new national marine sanctuary has four steps:

1

Scoping

NOAA announces its intent to designate a new national marine sanctuary and asks the public for input on potential boundaries, resources that could be protected, issues NOAA should consider and any information that should be included in the resource analysis.

2

Sanctuary Proposal

NOAA prepares draft designation documents including a draft management plan, draft environmental impact statement that analyzes a range of alternatives, proposed regulations and proposed boundaries. NOAA may also form an advisory council to help inform the proposal and focus stakeholder participation.

3

Public Review

The public, agency partners, tribes and other stakeholders provide input on the draft documents. NOAA considers all input and determines appropriate changes.

4

Sanctuary Designation

NOAA prepares draft designation documents including a draft management plan, draft environmental impact statement that analyzes a range of alternatives, proposed regulations and proposed boundaries. NOAA may also form an advisory council to help inform the proposal and focus stakeholder participation.
Copyright © 2021 · Chumash National Marine Sanctuary
All photos, unless otherwise specified, are available by public domain courtesy of NOAA ONMS  Website by Sophie Marsh Design Co.
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