National marine sanctuaries are similar to underwater national parks. Although fishing is allowed in many of them, offshore oil and gas drilling is banned in all of them, as is underwater mining and other activities that could harm wildlife or the environment. In the 45 years since President Richard Nixon started the program, no president has ever reduced or eliminated a national marine sanctuary.
Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary
Besides the natural attraction of seabirds, sea mammals, and other sea life, this wedge of California State Parks and MBNMS in old San Simeon, where native people thrived long before the arrival of Portuguese whalers and George Hearst, is where 17,000 visitors in 2016 discovered how special this corner of the world is.