IN 2009, MONTEREY BAY NATIONAL MARINE SANCTUARY EXPANDED TO INCLUDE
As a result of management plan revision, a seven-year process involving public input and agency collaboration, Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS) expanded to include the Davidson Seamount in 2009. The Final Rule, which includes the boundary expansion, is available at http://montereybay.noaa.gov/intro/mp/welcome.html.
The Davidson Seamount is a pristine undersea mountain habitat off the coast of Central California, 80 miles to the southwest of Monterey and 75 miles west of San Simeon. At 26 miles long and 8 miles wide, it is one of the largest known seamounts in U.S. waters. From base to crest, the seamount is 7,480 feet tall, yet its summit is still 4,101 feet below the sea surface.
Davidson Seamount was the first to be characterized as a "seamount" in 1938 by the United States Board on Geographic Names, and was named in honor of the United Sates Coast and Geodetic Survey scientist George Davidson, a leader in charting the waters of the west coast.
Davidson Seamount is populated with a diversity of deep-sea corals, most of which have other species associated with them. It has been called "An Oasis in the Deep," hosting large coral forests, vast sponge fields, crabs, deep-sea fishes, shrimp, basket stars, and high numbers of rare and unidentified benthic species. The seamount has special national significance relative to ocean conservation, ecological, scientific, educational, aesthetic, and historical qualities.
New technology has only recently allowed scientists to bring back dramatic high resolution images from the deep sea, offering researchers and the public an opportunity to witness the never before seen glimpses of rare marine species living in this largely cold, dark, and mysterious habitat. The proximity of education and research institutions in the Monterey Bay region facilitate interdisciplinary collaborations that enhance research and education about this spectacular area.
The Office of National Marine Sanctuaries has determined that the Davidson Seamount requires protection from the take of or other injury to benthic organisms or those organisms living near the seafloor because of the seamount's special ecological and fragile qualities and potential future threats that could adversely affect these qualities. As part of the 2008 Management Plan for the MBNMS, a boundary change includes the undersea mountain as the Davidson Seamount Management Zone (DSMZ). The boundary change adds a 775 square statute mile area to the MBNMS, increasing the MBNMS area to 6,094 square statute miles.
To download the Davidson Seamount Management Zone Management Plan, see:
To download the Davidson Seamount Management Zone Threats Assessment, see:
For a summary of deep-sea coral research, see:
For a summary of seamount characterization research, see:
To view the San Simeon Discovery Center video, see:
To view and download high resolution images, see:
For a summary of the 2006 Expedition, see:
For a summary of the 2002 Expedition, see:
For information on George Davidson, see: