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Sunken treasures

Marine Sanctuaries stamps dedicated in CA

Leon Panetta, left, and William D. Zollars display framed stamp artwork following the dedication ceremony.

National Marine Sanctuaries, the latest Forever stamps issued by the Postal Service, were dedicated at the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Exploration Center in Santa Cruz, CA, on Aug. 5.

“Protecting our environment is one of the most important things we can do now and for future generations,” said William D. Zollars, a USPS Board of Governors member who helped dedicate the stamps.

“The habitats protected by these marine sanctuaries and monuments help ensure the survival of threatened and endangered species,” he said.

The sanctuary system was established by the Marine Protection, Research and Sanctuaries Act, which was signed into law in 1972. The system is composed of 17 marine sanctuaries or monuments extending over 620,000 square miles and is managed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA.

Zollars was joined at the ceremony by Paul Scholz, deputy assistant administrator at NOAA’s National Ocean Service, and Leon Panetta, former U.S. secretary of defense and co-chair of the Monterey Bay chapter of the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation.

The stamps are “a colorful celebration of the beauty, abundance and diversity of our nation’s most iconic underwater places,” Scholz said.

“As these stamps circulate across the nation, we hope they’ll generate excitement about these incredible places and what people can do to help protect them. We especially hope they inspire people to visit a national marine sanctuary. Perhaps, the stamps will even inspire a child who one day grows up to become a marine biologist, environmental educator, science communicator or a passionate protector of our blue planet.”

National Marine Sanctuaries comes in panes of 16, each stamp depicting a different treasure of the system. Art director Greg Breeding used existing photographs to design the stamps.

They can be purchased at Post Offices and on