Good morning, Mr. Chairman and Members of the Committee. Thank you for the opportunity to testify before you today. My name is Holly Bamford and I am the Assistant Administrator for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) National Ocean Service performing the duties of the Assistant Secretary for Conservation and Management. NOAA is dedicated to the stewardship of living marine resources through science-based conservation and management, and the promotion of healthy ecosystems.
As a steward, NOAA works under a number of authorities to conserve, protect, and manage living marine resources to ensure functioning and healthy marine ecosystems, which support a wide range of recreational, economic, cultural and other opportunities for the American public. These include the National Marine Sanctuaries Act (NMSA), Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, Endangered Species Act, and Marine Mammal Protection Act. Based on these authorities, NOAA also has been given certain responsibilities for the stewardship and management of marine national monuments established by the President under the Antiquities Act.
Today I will focus my testimony on the authorities, processes, management, and benefits of both national marine sanctuaries and marine national monuments.