In a statement issued to coincide with the NOAA’s request for public comment on the marine sanctuary, U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland addressed the importance of the project. “Local voices, indigenous knowledge, and collaborative stewardship will be integral to our efforts to bolster community resilience, protect our natural resources, and build a clean energy economy,” said Haaland.
The process of establishing the marine sanctuary isn’t yet completed — but the idea of preserving the environment while also elevating the profile of the Chumash and their history in what is now the western U.S. is an important project for reasons both environmental and historic. And for now, the waiting continues.