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Marine Operations

Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary relies on a variety of platforms to conduct research, emergency response, enforcement, education, and dive operations. These platforms are owned and operated by either National Marine Sanctuaries, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), or others within the region. Click the images below to learn more about vessels used by the Sanctuary.

Sanctuary Platforms

R/V Fulmar
R/V Fulmar
(67 foot vessel)
R/V Tegula
R/V Tegula
(22 foot vessel)

NOAA Platform

NOAA vessel Shimada
NOAA Ship Bell M. Shimada
(208 foot vessel)

Regional Research Platforms

Regionally-owned and operated research platforms, including submersibles, large and small vessels, and aircraft are also available for use. This list is for information purposes only; Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary does not necessarily endorse any of these research platforms.

Our Dive Unit

Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary has an active dive team and is part of the NOAA Diving Program. NOAA divers from multiple NMFS and ONMS sites in central California and Monterey Bay are administered locally by Unit Diving Supervisor (UDS) Dr. Steve Lonhart. The dive team regularly participates in a variety of science diving projects, which often occur during the summer and fall. Science diving tasks include monitoring inside and outside of marine protected areas, experiments with invasive species, habitat characterization and both digital photography and videography. The NOAA Diving Program has reciprocity agreements with several agencies and the American Academy of Underwater Sciences (AAUS). Most of the dives logged by this dive unit are in partnership with university reciprocity divers and focus on science projects inside the sanctuary.

diver1 diver2 diver3

NOAA divers are full time employees or contractors, and in a few instances, we also have Volunteer Divers. A commonly asked question is how to become a NOAA diver. Feel free to contact Dr. Steve Lonhart with questions, but first look at the flow chart below to better understand how divers become NOAA divers.

how to become a noaa diver

PDF of above flow chart (32K)


Last Modified: 10/5/21

Reviewed: April 11, 2024
Web Site Owner: National Ocean Service

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