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Our National Marine Sanctuary System

“Within the National Marine Sanctuary System, you’ll find places of hope, inspiration, biodiversity, and resilience. The system encompasses more than 600,000 square miles of marine and Great Lakes waters, and contains amazing cultural and historical resources, as well as vibrant ecosystems as diverse as coral reefs and kelp forests. A healthy ocean is the basis for thriving recreation, tourism, and commercial activities that drive coastal economies. Across the National Marine Sanctuary System, about $8 billion annually is generated in local, coastal, and ocean-dependent economies from diverse activities like commercial fishing, research, education, and recreation/tourism activities. Our National Marine Sanctuary System comprises 13 national marine sanctuaries and Papahānaumokuākea and Rose Atoll marine national monuments. Though they sound similar, national marine sanctuaries and marine national monuments are actually two different types of protections…”

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