PROPOSED NATIONAL MARINE SANCTUARY NEAR APOSTLE ISLANDS
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is accepting citizen-driven proposals for new National Marine Sanctuaries in the Great Lakes. Local citizens are proposing a Sanctuary that would surround the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. This is of great interest to those who care about the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore and Lake Superior. What's the park's position on this?
Normally, the NPS doesn't comment at such an early stage on the agenda before another federal agency. That said, it's a legitimate question and park management is engaged in the discussion. The park superintendent has written a letter outlining the park's interest. Key points from that letter are:
- As natural and cultural resource conservation, education, recreation, and tourism are prime values and management objectives of the National Lakeshore, the NPS takes a keen interest in the development of the National Marine Sanctuary proposal.
- While the exact goals of the proposed National Marine Sanctuary would be determined though a public process in the future, the draft goals as the NPS understands them are very complementary to those of the National Park Service at the Apostle Islands.
- Collaborative scientific research and monitoring opportunities with a future National Marine Sanctuary would seem to be both extensive and attractive.
- The NPS looks forward to discussions on the feasibility of NOAA joining as a partner in the operation and funding of the interagency Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center.
and most importantly,
- While the NPS cannot take a formal position at this time on the nomination and designation of the proposed Sanctuary, NPS management believes that it would complement the values and objectives of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. NPS welcomes the effort and look forward to being a participant in the public process.