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Research Technical Report

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Discover the National Marine Sanctuaries: A Research Prospectus

National Marine Sanctuary Program (February 2000)

Technical Report, 25p.


Dear Researchers:

Thank you for your interest in our nation's National Marine Sanctuaries. We want to take this opportunity to familiarize you with the National Marine Sanctuary Program and the research and monitoring activities occurring in the sanctuaries.

At present, there are 12 National Marine Sanctuaries located within U.S. continental and territorial waters. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA's) National Marine Sanctuary Program is responsible for the conservation and management of these marine reserves and is charged with supporting, promoting, and coordinating long-term monitoring and research within them. Each National Marine Sanctuary is unique in its setting and resources; research and monitoring activities vary accordingly. Most sanctuaries develop annual research plans that address site-specific and national research priorities. Some do so in cooperation with informal or formal advisory groups.

Some funding for research programs comes from site budgets, but the majority are funded by outside support from other governmental agencies and the private sector. Generally speaking, very little research is funded directly from sanctuary budgets. However, considerable effort is focused on facilitating research in the sanctuaries through offers of logistical support, including the complimentary use of sanctuary vessels and field stations, and arrangements for time aboard NOAA ships. The National Marine Sanctuary Program staff also work with other agencies and institutions to provide incentives for investigators proposing work in sanctuaries.

Recent indications are that increases in federal appropriations for the National Marine Sanctuary Program may allow more direct funding for sanctuary research and monitoring through contracts, grants, fellowships, and other partnerships with agencies and academic institutions. Our FY1999 appropriation of approximately $14 million was increased to $26 million in FY2000. The President's Budget Request for FY2001 requests an additional increase.

This package contains a map of the sanctuary locations; the Science Plan for the National Marine Sanctuary System; information on current research efforts and needs at the sanctuaries; and sources for additional information. It is our hope that those of you who are interested in the National Marine Sanctuary Program will review this information and begin to think about, and discuss with us, the potential links between your research and the sanctuaries. Thank you for your consideration.


Mr. Daniel J. Basta
Director (Acting)
Marine Sanctuaries Program

Dr. Stephen R. Gittings
National Research Coordinator
Marine Sanctuaries Program

Reviewed: April 11, 2024
Web Site Owner: National Ocean Service

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