Great Lake Ontario National Marine Sanctuary (NMS) Proposal

For the first time in nearly 20 years the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has opened up the application process to add new National Marine Sanctuaries to the 14 already established regions in the world. This unique opportunity has prompted four Lake Ontario counties (Jefferson, Oswego, Cayuga and Wayne) and the City of Oswego to apply for status for the southeastern Lake Ontario region. Each community brings its strengths and interests to the table in an effort to ensure that the natural, cultural and historic resources that we cherish and enjoy can be experienced by others for generations to come. To succeed, the process begins with community support. It's important to understand what an NMS is and what it means for our community and industries.

What is an NMS?

National Marine Sanctuaries or “NMS” areas are designated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for research, education, and protection. NMS can only be designated for underwater, submerged areas within the oceans or Great Lakes. These are sites that contribute unique ecological, cultural, aesthetic, or recreational  resources of national significance.  They are selected for their opportunity to advance marine science, education, and conservation programs that support ecologic, economic, subsistence, and traditional uses. Learn More

An NMS does not mean “off limits”. Just the opposite in fact. An NMS seeks to enhance responsible and sustainable access for recreational, educational and economic purposes!

Learn more about what a National Marine Sanctuary designation would mean for you

Submerged Heritage

Great Lake Ontario Marine Sanctuary News

Regional Support: