Letter

Help Advance an Indigenous-Led Marine Sanctuary in California

17,242 signatures. Let’s get to 20K

Call on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to create the Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary.

The coastal region near San Luis Obispo, California is the ancestral home of the Northern Chumash people and one of the world’s most biologically diverse regions. The area also hosts 25 threatened, endangered, or critically endangered species, including humpback whales and leatherback sea turtles, and one of the largest remaining kelp forests on the Western Seaboard. 

The Biden Administration is currently considering the creation of the Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary (CHNMS) to protect sacred Chumash sites, hotspots of biodiversity, and vital marine habitats along the California coast. 

The proposed area of the National Marine Sanctuary · Only One

This protection would cover feeding grounds for numerous species of whales and dolphins, sea otter populations, kelp forests, and vital fisheries. It would also provide additional resilience to marine ecosystems in the face of climate change, warming oceans, loss of marine biodiversity, and impacts on communities, culture, traditions, and economies. 

At a moment when California has lost more than 90 percent of its kelp to warming waters and a recent oil spill has wreaked havoc on marine life, safeguarding these ecosystems is critical for the future of coastal communities.

The proposed Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary has been on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) nomination list since 2013, but no further action has been taken · Robert Schwemmer / NOAA
Submerged Chumash villages and cultural heritage sites lie under the coastal waters and along the shoreline · Chris Burkard
Underwater towers of kelp provide food and shelter for thousands of fish, invertebrates, and marine mammal species · Claire Fackler / NOAA

The Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary would represent a huge step forward for Indigenous-led conservation in the United States and a major milestone for addressing systemic climate inequality. 

The Chumash are one of the few ocean-going tribes among the First People of the Pacific Coast — the island and marine ecosystems co-evolved with the Tribe's culture and traditions. As such, the climate crisis disproportionately affects their way of life and their longstanding historical relationships with the land and sea. 

California is the seventh largest source of fossil fuel in the U.S. · Guillaume Issaly

If the recent oil spill off the California coast has shown us anything, it’s that we cannot afford continued inaction in protecting vulnerable marine ecosystems and the coastal communities that depend on a thriving, healthy ocean. Creating this marine sanctuary will stave off future oil exploration and exploitation of natural resources, enacting critical protections for both people and the planet.  

Add your name to the official sign-on letter urging the NOAA to swiftly designate the Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary. 

Click here to view the official letter.

Note: 10,672 of the signatures reflected on this page are carried over from a current petition on Only One calling on President Biden to Advance the Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary.

Supporters
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Riley L

I am signing because I believe that a better future is possible, and we only need to work for it. I believe that this movement will get us one step cl…

2 days ago
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Julie K

I believe the waters of the Earth need protection from those who don't care about anything but profit.

4 days ago
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Paul G

There is nothing more exciting right now than the potential to address biodiversity and climate change by protecting our oceans. This is such a low-ha…

4 days ago
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Ad B

life and nature must be protected.

1 week ago
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Karen D

BECAUSE IT MATTERS MOST OF ALL!

1 week ago
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Michael W

its time to do properly vs greed

1 week ago
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Linda K

Why not have people from the area do the work? They need work too.

3 weeks ago
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cindy c

we need marine sanctuaries

3 weeks ago
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Christine U

Great idea!

3 weeks ago
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Shayna G

imdigenous protection and species comservation pleaseeeeeeeee and thank you

4 weeks ago
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Amanda C

marine diversity and indigenous representation are essential

1 month ago
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Sherilynne D

IF this is what the Chumash people want, yes! Then follow that up with protection of ocean areas that fall outside of native reservations so that non-…

1 month ago
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Ulrike M

I'm signing because the protection of marine life is vital for ALL life on earth and thus it's EVERYBODY's responisibility.

1 month ago
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Daniele A

Je ne sais pas comment on pourrait y arriver, les américains ne se sentent peut être pas concernés, obnubilés plutôt par le problème de l'eau, sans ri…

1 month ago
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Karen W

We are losing sea life at an unprecedented rate due to over fishing and pollution and lack of protections combined. Please help save our oceans which…

1 month ago
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Peter D

who better to lead this action than the original peoples who have a spiritual connection and lond history of ultimate respect for the environment and…

1 month ago
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Mary V

i care

1 month ago
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Regina B

As native mexican, I care.

1 month ago
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James L

we need marine sanctuaries all over the world to protect nature and help the world to a cleaner future.

1 month ago
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Yasmin C

Is so important 💙🙏

1 month ago
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Sara C

Let the original people and guardians of the land fulfill their natural rights

1 month ago
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Claire F

enough of the planet is taken over by people

1 month ago
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Gill M

It is essential to protect and respect the marine life as important as respecting one another, us humans.

1 month ago
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LEONA C

It is vital we support this marine sanctuary.

1 month ago
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Siobhan K

I care enough.

1 month ago
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