|About the Sanctuary Exploration Center
Twenty years after its designation as the nation's largest marine sanctuary, a new state-of-the art visitors center opens in July 2012 highlighting the spectacular Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Overlooking the ocean, the Sanctuary Exploration Center is located in the heart of the Santa Cruz's famed beach area just steps away from the city's Municipal Wharf. The center features engaging interactive and multi-media exhibits to help visitors explore the sanctuary's remarkable marine environment, as well as their personal role in protecting this special underwater treasure.
Located next to the beach at 35 Pacific Street, Santa Cruz CA
- To educate visitors about the sanctuary's unique and fascinating coastal and marine environment
- To foster a more personal connection with the sanctuary and the ocean's relevance in people's daily lives
- To encourage stewardship of the sanctuary and a better understanding of how to responsibly enjoy and protect the ocean
The Office of National Marine Sanctuaries (ONMS) collaborated with the City of Santa Cruz and the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation to build the 12,600 sq. ft., $13.9M Sanctuary Exploration Center. ONMS provided design and construction funds, the city offered the $2M ocean-view property and helped manage the construction activities, and the foundation conducted a Capital Campaign to pay for exhibits.
|Location, Location, Location!
Learn more about the center's spectacular ocean-side location in Santa Cruz's famed beach area, right in the midst of many popular visitor and recreational attractions.
A Green Building
The Exploration Center is a model for sustainable, environmentally sensitive design, construction and operation, meeting the U.S. Green Building Council's gold standards for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED).
Meet our staff
Meet our partners
Download a fact sheet