Dr. Richard W. Spinrad
Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere & National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Administrator
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Room 5128
Washington, DC 20230

May 6, 2024

Re: Group Support for Joint Position of Northern Chumash Tribal Council and Morro Bay Offshore Wind Leaseholders on Proposed Designation of Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary, NOAA-NOS-2021-0080

Dear Administrator Spinrad,

On behalf of the 52 undersigned groups with ocean conservation, environmental justice, and clean energy interests, we endorse the joint position in support of a phased approach for the proposed designation of the Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary (CHNMS) that the Northern Chumash Tribal Council (Nominating Entity of the Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary) and Equinor Wind US LLC, Golden State Wind LLC, and Invenergy California Offshore LLC (Leaseholders in the Morro Bay Wind Energy Area) released on April 23, 2024. We support the Northern Chumash Tribal Council (NCTC) and Leaseholders joint request that:

NOAA ONMS adopt a phased approach to the Sanctuary designation, in conjunction with regulatory clarifications, to foster this compatibility with environmentally sound offshore wind development and operation. Upon initial designation, the northern boundary of the CHNMS would be located south of Diablo Canyon, but north of Port San Luis and Avila Beach. Following the initial designation, and at an appropriate time, we jointly support expansion of the full boundary of the CHNMS to connect to the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. We request that future expansion be reflected in the Sanctuary’s Management Plan through inclusion of a Sanctuary Expansion Action Plan.

The scale and severity of the climate and biodiversity crises demand that US leaders simultaneously advance habitat conservation and responsible offshore wind development. Alongside the NCTC and the Leaseholders, we support the expeditious designation of the Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary.

Thank you, and we look forward to celebrating the designation and implementation of the sanctuary soon.


350 Bay Area Action
Brightline Defense Project
California Environmental Voters
Californians for Western Wilderness
Citizens' Climate Lobby
Coalition to Protect America's National Parks
Conservación ConCiencia
Creation Justice Ministries
EarthEcho International
Endangered Species Coalition
Environment America
Environment California Research and Policy Center
Environmental Defense Center
Environmental Protection Information Center (EPIC)
Friends of the Earth U.S.
Friends of the Mariana Trench
Healthy Ocean Coalition
Hispanic Access Foundation
Inland Ocean Coalition
League of Conservation Voters
Marine Conservation Institute
Maui Nui Makai Network
Mission Blue
Mystic Aquarium
National Audubon Society
National Ocean Protection Coalition
National Parks Conservation Association
National Wildlife Federation
Native Americans in Philanthropy
Natural Resources Defense Council
Northern Chumash Bear Clan
Nuestra Tierra Conservation Project
Ocean Conservancy
Ocean Defense Initiative
Precovery Labs
Resources Legacy Fund
San Luis Obispo Chapter, Surfrider Foundation
Santa Lucia Chapter of the Sierra Club (San Luis Obispo County)
Seattle Aquarium
Sierra Club
SLO Climate Coalition
Surfrider Foundation
Sustainable Ocean Alliance
The Ocean Project
The Wilderness Society
USC Schwarzenegger Institute
World Ocean Council