Around the globe, the beloved characters of Walt Disney have become holiday icons as familiar as Santa and Rudolph. But you probably wouldn't know that NOAA has its own Disney icon, which, though not associated with a holiday, did much to lift the spirits of those who served in World War II.
The Office National Marine Sanctuaries manages a national network of underwater marine protected areas. Designated by Congress, these special ocean and Great Lakes areas are designed to protect natural and cultural resources, while allowing people to use and enjoy our oceans and coasts. The first sanctuary was created in 1975 and the network has since grown to include 13 national marine sanctuaries and one marine national monument.