Senator Carl Levin (D-MI) announced at the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation's (NMSF) 12th annual Ocean Awards Gala last week that he is introducing the Great Lakes Cultural Heritage Assessment Act next month. 

Levin's proposed bill would direct the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to identify underwater areas in the Great Lakes that possess significant historical and archaeological resources and consider recommendation for designation as national marine sanctuaries. 

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is releasing the final rule reopening the Sanctuary Nomination and Evaluation Process. NOAA has not been able to accept nominations for new national marine sanctuaries since 1995. 

"Senator Levin's initiative recognizes that the Great Lakes serve as a living museum celebrating our nation's history," said Jason Patlis, President and CEO of the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation. "Coupled with the White House announcement yesterday, this bill will usher in a new era of attention on the importance of special places below the surface of our ocean and Great Lakes." 

Capitol Hill Ocean Week took place June 10th-12th in Washington, D.C.   It featured 12 sessions on topics including climate change, energy, fisheries, human health, and, of course, media engagement. National Marine Sanctuary Foundation was the host organization.