National marine sanctuary offices and visitor centers closed to the public; waters remain open

NOAA's national marine sanctuary offices and visitor centers are currently closed to the public, and in accordance with Executive Order 13991 - Protecting the Federal Workforce and Requiring Mask Wearing, all individuals in NOAA-managed areas are required to follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance on mask-wearing and maintaining social distances. Sanctuary waters remain open for responsible use in accordance with CDC guidance, U.S. Coast Guard requirements, and local regulations. More information on the response from NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries can be found on

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Education and Outreach Overview

Students at a tidepool fieldtrip

Welcome! Our educators are committed to promoting ocean literacy and conservation of Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary and the world ocean.

Ocean Literacy

Understand the ocean's influence on you and your influence on the ocean. Ocean literacy principles:

  • The Earth has one big ocean with many features.
  • The ocean and life in the ocean shape the features of Earth.
  • The ocean is a major influence on weather and climate.
  • The ocean makes the Earth habitable.
  • The ocean supports a great diversity of life and ecosystems.
  • The ocean and humans are inextricably interconnected.
  • The ocean is largely unexplored.

What We Offer

Visitor Centers

Our two visitor centers, the Sanctuary Exploration Center in Santa Cruz and the Coastal Discovery Center in San Simeon, provide a variety of displays and activities.
Sanctuary Exploration Center building

For Educators

Educators and students can join in programs ranging from fisheries, tide pools and plankton to choosing their own Sanctuary conservation project. Check out a host of classroom learning activities and resources too.

students doing an cirriculum activity on the beach


Events are offered year-round to help you learn more about the sanctuary and participate in activities that help protect this undersea treasure.
students particpating in a sanctuary event


We offer programs for educators and schools, or for those interested in volunteering. Programs range from monitoring water quality and studying tide pools to interacting with sanctuary visitors.
volunteers partcipating ina monitoring event

Materials & Resources

Explore a wide assortment of online materials and multimedia resources.

Salmonid poster