For the first time in nearly 20 years the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has opened up the application process to add new National Marine Sanctuaries to the 14 already established regions in the world. This unique opportunity has prompted four Lake Ontario counties (Jefferson, Oswego, Cayuga and Wayne) and the City of Oswego to apply for status for the southeastern Lake Ontario region. Each community brings its strengths and interests to the table in an effort to ensure that the natural, cultural and historic resources that we cherish and enjoy can be experienced by others for generations to come. To succeed, the process begins with community support. It's important to understand what an NMS is and what it means for our community and industries.