Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary






Sancutary Program Accomplishments

Intertidal Systems

Rocky Subtidal Systems

Open Ocean & Deep Water Systems

The Physical Environment

Wetlands and Watersheds

Endangered & Threatened Species

Marine Mammals

Bird Populations

Harvested Species

Exotic Species

Human Interactions

Further Reading



We at NOAA's Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary are proud to present the second edition of our and the community's Ecosystem Observations—the annual report for, from, and about the Sanctuary.

This year we have tried to add even more quantitative data, to get closer to our ultimate goal for our Ecosystem Observations--a report on the overall health of the coastal ecosystem off central California protected by the Sanctuary. One conclusion we continue to draw is that there is a need to have a comprehensive program to evaluate and monitor important components of the coastal ecosystem, from which we would then be able to provide a more objective, more robust picture of the health of our ocean system. We made good progress this year on developing such a program for the region, thanks to our regional marine science partners, in particular MBARI, who hired a research fellow and loaned him to the Sanctuary to design a regional monitoring program.

Further inside this year's Ecosystem Observations you will read about the important contributions Sanctuary staff made in understanding and protecting Sanctuary resources. These include things like vessel traffic/routing strategies, new data on green crab invasions, a teacher in the sea, and a collaborative program with the agricultural community to protect water quality. Just like last year, our regional ecosystem observers have contributed fantastic articles, too. You'll read that La Niña is following her brother; Snowy Plovers had poor reproduction this year; and many leatherback sea turtles and Common Murres washed on to area beaches, for example.

While new challenges arose regarding proposals to build new fiberoptic cables through the Sanctuary, others became opportunities. The Disney Company, which filmed several parts of the Sanctuary for a new ride at Disneyland showing California's most remarkable natural wonders, has offered to work on incorporating a Sanctuary message into future educational programs. Perhaps most rewarding was the incredible support from the central California community, who wrote letters in support of the President's unprecedented proposal to double the national marine sanctuary program's budget. Thanks to all of you who made that effort.

-William J. Douros, Superintendent
NOAA's Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary

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Last modified on: March 31, 2000