National Park Service Unveils Ocean Park Stewardship Plan, ENS, 12/05/06
Source: Environment News Service
VIRGIN ISLANDS NATIONAL PARK, St. John, USVI - At an event celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Virgin Islands National Park, the National Park Service Friday announced the release of the Ocean Park Stewardship Action Plan for restoring and maintaining ocean resources in the National Park System for current and future generations.
Supported by President George W. Bush’s U.S. Ocean Action Plan and the Department of the Interior, the Ocean Park Stewardship Action Plan was drafted with input from the NPS National Leadership Council, Park Superintendents and various partners.
The Ocean Park Plan will focus the organizational and scientific capacity of the Park Service on conserving marine, estuarine and Great Lakes resources, in collaboration with state and federal agencies and park stakeholders.
“I am excited to announce the establishment of the Ocean Park Stewardship Action Plan,” said Mary Bomar, director of the National Park Service.
"I am pleased that the Ocean Park Plan highlights collaborations with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and private partners," she said, "including our recent agreement for a seamless network of ocean parks, wildlife refuges, marine sanctuaries and estuarine reserves.”
The Ocean Park Stewardship Action Plan seeks to:
- Establish a network of ocean national parks, national wildlife refuges, national marine sanctuaries, and national estuarine research reserves
- Discover, map, and protect ocean parks
- Engage visitors in ocean park stewardship
- Increase National Park Service technical capacity for ocean exploration and stewardship
The National Park System contains more than 5,100 miles of beaches, coral reefs, kelp forests, wetlands, historic shipwrecks and forts that attract over 75 million visitors every year.
In 74 parks, spanning 25 coastal states and U.S. territories, people come to camp, fish, snorkel, scuba dive, boat, and watch wildlife. According to the National Park Service, these parks generate over $2.5 billion in economic benefits to local communities.