Cultural Reflections on the Water


The United States is, at its core, a maritime nation. Throughout our history, our nation has relied on the ocean and its coasts for commerce, for food, for power, and for recreation. The shippers and port authorities, the whalers and fisherman, the rig workers, and the hospitality industry and recreational charters embody the self-reliant, determined character associated with the American spirit.

From our founding to today, our shores have been a source of opportunity and prosperity. And as we shape our future, we must recognize how our culture and character are influenced by this connection to the ocean and how understanding that maritime heritage will help us chart a more effective way forward for managing our oceans and coasts.


The Honorable Carl Levin, U.S. Senate, Michigan; 2014 NMSF Leadership Award Honoree


Paula J. Johnson, Curator, Smithsonian National Museum of American History


Timothy Bailey, Manager, Mt. Haleakala National Park

Merry Camhi, Director, New York Seascape, The Wildlife Conservation Society

Steve Mathies, Ph.D., Vice President for Coastal Protection and Restoration, AECOM

Christopher Merculief, President, Saint George Traditional Council


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