Skip to main content
Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary National Marine Sanctuaries Home Page National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Home Page



Superintendent Statement: Proposed Special Use Permit Catagories for Desalination

On January 12th, 2017, NOAA published a notice requesting public comment on whether the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries should adopt two new special use permit (SUP) categories pursuant to the requirements of Section 310 of the National Marine Sanctuaries Act. The two new SUP categories would be:

  1. the continued presence of a pipeline transporting seawater to or from a desalination facility; and
  2. the use of sediment to filter seawater for desalination.
Comments will be considered if received on or before February 13th, 2017. (11/18/16)


New World Heritage Site nominated for California Coast

The Proposed California Current Conservation Complex World Heritage Site encompasses Greater Farallones, Cordell Bank and Monterey Bay national marine sanctuaries are area from Point Arena south to Point Piedras Blancas, California. Collectively, the northern California national marine sanctuaries protect an extremely productive marine environment driven by strong upwelling within the California Current large marine ecosystem.

Public comments on the nomination will be sought early in 2017, but questions and comments can be directed to the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries' West Coast Regional Office, The sanctuary superintendent or your local Sanctuary Advisory Council Representatives. (11/18/16)


NOAA names John Armor as Director of Office of National Marine Sanctuaries

Since May 2015, John has performed the duties of acting director for ONMS, providing the strategic vision for the program and overall policy direction for the system of 13 national marine sanctuaries and Papahānaumokuākea and Rose Atoll marine national monuments. That system now encompasses more than 620,000 square miles of marine and Great Lakes waters. Before working in the role of acting director, John served as deputy director for Sanctuaries for more than two years, where he oversaw the day-to-day administration of a program that includes more than 300 people working across five time zones and $50 million a year in annual spending. Earlier, John led the Conservation Policy and Planning Division in ONMS, overseeing a highly complex expansion of the National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa. He brings extensive experience with the permitting and regulatory side of national marine sanctuaries, having served for eight years writing regulatory actions and advising leadership on permitting and policy decisions. (10/17/16)

Mysterious foam a byproduct of phytoplankton bloom

While not toxic, this marine plankton species has the ability to discolor the water and also produce a surfactant foam. The highest concentrations occurred between the Pajaro River and Capitola Beach. You may remember the 2007 bloom of Akashiwo sanguinea that coated the feathers of many birds in the Monterey Bay area, causing them distress. We have not encountered birds in distress from the current event, however – as a reminder – if you see a live bird in distress, please call: in Santa Cruz County – Native Animal Rescue (831) 462-0726, and in Monterey County – Monterey County SPCA Wildlife Center (831) 264-5427. (10/17/16)

Montebello shipwreck added to the National Register of Historic Places

Just south of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary boundary are the remains of the oil tanker Montebello. The tanker was sunk by a single torpedo fired by a Japanese submarine during World War II on December 23, 1941; just two weeks after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Montebello represents three different aspects of American history: the development and use of a petroleum tanker in times of peace and war; the dependence on maritime commerce to provide fuel for the industrial revolution; and growing United States military presence around the globe during World War II.

The Montebello shipwreck and remains were added to the National Register of Historic Places on September 27, 2016. The National Register listing provides additional federal protection for the wreck site and the artifacts there.

The National Register of Historic Places is the Nation's official list of cultural places considered worth preserving. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Register is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America's historic and archeological resources. Properties listed in the National Register can qualify for Federal grants for historic preservation.

Though adjacent to the southern boundary of MBNMS, the Montebello was studied as a potential oil spill threat and as a relevant historical artifact. Since 2003, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Office of National Marine Sanctuaries and partners have carefully characterized and mapped the shipwreck and surrounding debris. In 2011, it was determined that there is no substantial oil threat from the Montebello to California waters and shorelines. The Montebello is located in the proposed Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary.

Learn more about the history, and recent field research at the Montebello. (9/27/16)


2015 First Flush/Monitoring Report Now Available

The Monterey Regional Storm Water Management Program’s (MRSWMP) water quality monitoring program is modeled after the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary’s (MBNMS) Dry Run/First Flush monitoring, for which volunteers collect water samples which are analyzed for common urban pollutants. This monitoring program design promotes volunteer participation, stewardship and environmental education while providing important data regarding the quality of water flowing into Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. The 2015 MRSWMP monitoring program collected water samples prior to the first major rainstorm of the year (Dry Run) and during the first major rainstorm of the winter season (First Flush). Samples collected during dry weather, prior to the first major rainstorm, can be used for source tracking of pollutants of concern and can give an indication of urban water uses (car washing, pressure washing, irrigation or illicit discharges), or groundwater base flow. In some cases dry weather flows can be more concentrated than those of wet weather flows due to less dilution. Water samples collected during the first major storm of the winter season provide information on the concentration of contaminants in storm water after months of dry weather accumulation of pollutants on land in urban areas. All runoff from the Monterey region eventually flows into MBNMS except in Pacific Grove where some dry weather flows are diverted to the sanitary sewer. (4/6/16)

New Documents Added to the 2015 Management Plan Process

Documents pertaining to a Summary Memo from Superintendent to Sanctuary Advisory Council, Advisory Council Prioritization Exercise Results, and a Compilationof the Public Scoping Comments. Please take a look. (2/8/16)

Monterey Bay 2015 Condition Report Partial Update Now Available to the Public

National Marine Sanctuary Program Condition Reports provide a summary of resources in each sanctuary, pressures on those resources, current conditions and trends, and management responses to pressures that threaten the integrity of the marine environment. Specifically, the reports include information on the status and trends of water quality, habitat, living resources, maritime archaeological resources and the human activities that affect them. The previous MBNMS Condition Report was released in 2009. (1/4/16)

What's up with Harmful Algal Blooms and Domoic Acid Poisoning?

MBNMS waters in the Monterey Bay are experiencing a sporadic harmful algal blooms (HABs) and domoic acid event. HABs and domica acid are caused by high concentrations of certain free-floating single-celled plants in the ocean (known as phytoplankton) that produce toxins that spread into the marine ecosystem. Of approximately 5,000 known species of phytoplankton (microalgae), only a few dozen are known to produce toxic chemicals that can harm fish, shellfish, marine mammals, seabirds, and humans. (7/16/16)

Job Announcements


Requests for Proposals


What's New on the MBNMS Site


Snapshot Day Multi-Year Report: A Citizen Science Success Story 2000-2013 (5/1/15)


MBNMS Annual Accomplishments Report for 2014 (5/1/15)

MBNMS Site Updates


Archives of News, Announcements, and Updates


About PDF and HTML Files

Please note these files are available in several different formats. Please click on the format you would like to view. HTML and TEXT formats are best for quick viewing on the screen within your web browser. PDF files are crossplatform files that can be viewed and printed on any computer that has the ability to read PDF's. This can be built in to the computers operating system, or through a third party application (like Adobe Reader). For more instructions on utilizing PDF files, check Adobe's web site.

*Some browsers have trouble rendering PDF files. If you are having troubles, please Right-Click (Windows/Mac) or Control-Click (Mac) to download and save the file to your desktop and open from there*

URL:    Reviewed: January 12, 2017
Web Site Owner: National Ocean Service

Privacy Statement | Site Disclaimer | User Survey
National Marine Sanctuaries | National Ocean Service | National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration |