NOAA National Marine Sanctuaries “Tour of Duty”
In an effort to bring FORCE BLUE’s message of continued service — and the importance of preserving and restoring America’s precious marine resources — to communities across the country, the Special Operations veterans of FORCE BLUE, working with our nation’s top scientists and environmentalists, have launched a 5-year campaign to conduct marine conservation missions in and around each of the country’s fifteen (15) National Marine Sanctuaries (NMS).
These missions, which kicked off with a seagrass planting and monitoring operation in the Mallows Bay-Potomac River NMS in September 2022, will include local volunteers, civic leaders and corporate partners in projects ranging from marine debris and invasive species removal ops to coral outplanting, kelp reforestation, wreck mapping and more.
Every mission will also include a public engagement component, designed to instill ownership and inspire action in those communities that are nearest to and benefit the most from our marine sanctuaries.
The goal is simple. Open eyes, ears and minds to the beauty — and fragility — of these national treasures while, at the same time, positively contributing to their preservation.
What are Marine Sanctuaries?
Nearly 50 years ago, the U.S. ushered in a new era of ocean conservation by creating the National Marine Sanctuary System. Since then, that system has grown into a nationwide network of fifteen (15) national marine sanctuaries and two marine national monuments that conserve more than 620,000 square miles of spectacular ocean and Great Lakes waters.
National marine sanctuaries support coastal communities and drive local economies by providing jobs and opportunities for people to discover, recreate, and form life-long connections with these spectacular places.
Sanctuaries connect people and communities through science, education, recreation, and stewardship. We rely on these networks to inspire community-based solutions that help us understand and protect our nation’s most spectacular habitats, marine life, archaeological wonders, and cultural seascapes.
Individuals who would like to support FORCE BLUE’s NMS “Tour of Duty” can do so by making a fully tax-deductible donation.
Corporate partners who, in exchange for inclusion in all media and marketing opportunities surrounding the mission, would like to lend their support should email Jim Ritterhoff, Executive Director, Co-Founder.