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Sanctuary News, Announcements, and Programs



The Sanctuary Exploration Center will be closed for annual maintenance January 15th-30th, we will re-open on Wednesday January 31st

. (12/29/17)


MBNMS Partners with MBARI for Sur Ridge Research Cruise

MBNMS has once again partnered with the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) to conduct deep-sea research in the sanctuary at Sur Ridge. The cruise will focus on recording observations and conducting experiments at various locations, at depths from 200 to over 3,000 meters, and will re-visit Sur Ridge, a place of incredible deep-sea coral and sponge assemblages. (12/14/17)


Superintendent Statement: Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary celebrates 25 years of ocean protection

Today we celebrate the 25th anniversary of the designation of Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, one of the planet's most vital and iconic coastal marine ecosystems. (9/18/17)


Superintendent Statement: Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary celebrates 25 years of ocean protection

Today we celebrate the 25th anniversary of the designation of Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, one of the planet's most vital and iconic coastal marine ecosystems. (9/18/17)


"Movie Night on the Beach" FREE Community Celebration in Monterey, CA

September 2017 marks the 25th anniversary of Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary! The sanctuary was formally established under the authority of the National Marine Sanctuaries Act, becoming the eleventh national marine sanctuary. In celebration of this quarter century milestone, we invite you to help us celebrate the incredible importance and value that the sanctuary represents to our community. (9/15/17)


Superintendent Statement: Final Notice for A New Category of Special Use Permits Related to the Operation of Desalination Facilities in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary

Today, in response to local needs for adequate water supplies to support communities and businesses along the California coast, NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries (ONMS) announced a new category of special use permits that will allow desalination facilities to operate in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS) under certain conditions. (9/7/17)


MBNMS and NMFS Collaborate on Imaging the Sanctuary’s Sensitive Habitats

From July 10th to 18th, 2017, a NOAA team comprised of staff at the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS) are conducting surveys using an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) to image ecologically sensitive areas in the Sanctuary. The project is funded through restoration settlement funds and the focus is to collect baseline data and/or comparative data on the distribution, abundance, and condition of deep sea corals and sponge communities. (7/8/17)


NOAA opens public comment period on Executive Order 13795 focused on National Marine Sanctuaries and Marine Natational Monuments

NOAA is soliciting comment on National Marine Sanctuaries and Marine National Monuments designated or expanded since April 28, 2007, during a 30-day public comment period, which opens on Monday, June 26, 2017, to assist the Secretary of Commerce in his review under Section 4(b) of the Presidential Executive Order (EO) 13795, “Implementing an America-First Offshore Energy Strategy” (signed April 28, 2017). There are a total of six National Marine Sanctuaries expanded and five Marine National Monuments designated or expanded since April 28, 2007, that are a part of this review.

Comments will be considered if received on or before July 26th, 2017. (6/26/17)


Beach COMBERS Celebrates 20 Years of Monitoring!

May 2017 marks 20 years of beachcast surveys by volunteers of the Coastal Ocean Mammal and Bird Education and Research Surveys (Beach COMBERS). The main goal of the program is to determine human and natural impacts to the Monterey Bay ecosystem. This long-term monitoring of beached marine birds and mammals has enabled resource managers to determine trends in deposition to better identify significant events affecting wildlife including oil spills, fishery interactions, harmful algal blooms, and natural starvation events. (5/1/17)


"Sea Below the Surface" Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary's 25th Anniversary Speaker Series

Celebrating 25 years of protecting our estuarine, nearshore, offshore and seamount environments, the series will have 4 parts. Each part will have two sessions, one in Santa Cruz at our Exploration Center, and one in Pacific Grove at the Museum of Natural History. Please visit the Speaker Series page for more information. (3/15/17)


Are you interested in a different type of volunteer experience? Team OCEAN or Bay Net might be just the opportunity for you!

To learn about volunteering for either Team OCEAN or Bay Net, please attend an informational meeting on Wednesday, March 8th at 6:00pm at the MBNMS offices at 99 Pacific St Bldg 455 Monterey. Contact Lisa Emanuelson to RSVP at (831) 647-4227 or by email. (2/3/17)

New World Heritage Site nominated for California Coast

The Proposed California Current Conservation Complex World Heritage Site encompasses Greater Farallones, Cordell Bank and Monterey Bay national marine sanctuaries are area from Point Arena south to Point Piedras Blancas, California. Collectively, the northern California national marine sanctuaries protect an extremely productive marine environment driven by strong upwelling within the California Current large marine ecosystem.

Public comments on the nomination will be sought early in 2017, but questions and comments can be directed to the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries' West Coast Regional Office, The sanctuary superintendent or your local Sanctuary Advisory Council Representatives. (11/18/16)


Save The Earth will donate concert tour proceeds to Beach COMBERS program

Orquesta Victoria, a 14-piece tango orchestra from Argentina, announced it will donate $1 for every ticket sold during their "El Mundo is the World" California tour to the Save The Earth Foundation. All money raised for Save The Earth will be donated to Beach COMBERS; a long-term beach monitoring program composed of volunteers who obtain information on rates of stranding for all species of marine birds and mammals along the California coast. (10/25/16)

NOAA names John Armor as Director of Office of National Marine Sanctuaries

Since May 2015, John has performed the duties of acting director for ONMS, providing the strategic vision for the program and overall policy direction for the system of 13 national marine sanctuaries and Papahānaumokuākea and Rose Atoll marine national monuments. That system now encompasses more than 620,000 square miles of marine and Great Lakes waters. Before working in the role of acting director, John served as deputy director for Sanctuaries for more than two years, where he oversaw the day-to-day administration of a program that includes more than 300 people working across five time zones and $50 million a year in annual spending. Earlier, John led the Conservation Policy and Planning Division in ONMS, overseeing a highly complex expansion of the National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa. He brings extensive experience with the permitting and regulatory side of national marine sanctuaries, having served for eight years writing regulatory actions and advising leadership on permitting and policy decisions. (10/17/16)

Mysterious foam a byproduct of phytoplankton bloom

While not toxic, this marine plankton species has the ability to discolor the water and also produce a surfactant foam. The highest concentrations occurred between the Pajaro River and Capitola Beach. You may remember the 2007 bloom of Akashiwo sanguinea that coated the feathers of many birds in the Monterey Bay area, causing them distress. We have not encountered birds in distress from the current event, however – as a reminder – if you see a live bird in distress, please call: in Santa Cruz County – Native Animal Rescue (831) 462-0726, and in Monterey County – Monterey County SPCA Wildlife Center (831) 264-5427. (10/17/16)

Montebello shipwreck added to the National Register of Historic Places

Just south of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary boundary are the remains of the oil tanker Montebello. The tanker was sunk by a single torpedo fired by a Japanese submarine during World War II on December 23, 1941; just two weeks after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Montebello represents three different aspects of American history: the development and use of a petroleum tanker in times of peace and war; the dependence on maritime commerce to provide fuel for the industrial revolution; and growing United States military presence around the globe during World War II.

The Montebello shipwreck and remains were added to the National Register of Historic Places on September 27, 2016. The National Register listing provides additional federal protection for the wreck site and the artifacts there.

The National Register of Historic Places is the Nation's official list of cultural places considered worth preserving. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Register is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America's historic and archeological resources. Properties listed in the National Register can qualify for Federal grants for historic preservation.

Though adjacent to the southern boundary of MBNMS, the Montebello was studied as a potential oil spill threat and as a relevant historical artifact. Since 2003, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Office of National Marine Sanctuaries and partners have carefully characterized and mapped the shipwreck and surrounding debris. In 2011, it was determined that there is no substantial oil threat from the Montebello to California waters and shorelines. The Montebello is located in the proposed Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary.

Learn more about the history, and recent field research at the Montebello. (9/27/16)


What's up with Harmful Algal Blooms and Domoic Acid Poisoning?

MBNMS waters in the Monterey Bay are experiencing a sporadic harmful algal blooms (HABs) and domoic acid event. HABs and domica acid are caused by high concentrations of certain free-floating single-celled plants in the ocean (known as phytoplankton) that produce toxins that spread into the marine ecosystem. Of approximately 5,000 known species of phytoplankton (microalgae), only a few dozen are known to produce toxic chemicals that can harm fish, shellfish, marine mammals, seabirds, and humans. (7/16/16)

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URL:    Reviewed: November 20, 2017
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