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

NOAA's national marine sanctuary offices and visitor centers are closed to the public while the waters remain open for responsible use in accordance with CDC guidance and local regulations. More information on the response from NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries can be found on

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Maritime Heritage: Action Plan

The passenger-cargo steamer Tennessee runs aground near Point Bonita, 1853 (Credit: NOAA)

In 2008, the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries (ONMS) completed a management plan revision process for the Monterey Bay, Gulf of the Farallones, and Cordell Bank Sanctuaries. This included a review of the resource protection, education and research programs, the program's resource and staffing needs, as well as the regulatory goals and sanctuaries boundaries. The Cross-Cutting Maritime Heritage Action Plan developed by working group members and ONMS staff, provides a framework for a Maritime Heritage Resources Program. The MBNMS is working with the ONMS, west coast sanctuaries, and local agencies to more fully develop a Maritime Heritage program.

The goal of ONMS, and thus a goal of the MBNMS, is to develop a program aimed to identify, protect, and raise awareness of the cultural and historical resources in California's three west coast sanctuaries. Program efforts include conducting paleoecological and archaeological studies; inventorying, locating, and monitoring both historic shipwrecks and those that pose an environmental threat to sanctuary marine resources; and characterizing and protecting maritime heritage resources.


MBNMS Final Management Plan: October 2008 (see Section VIII: Cross-Cutting)