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Sanctuary News, Announcements, and Programs



Winter 2018 Recruitment for Sanctuary Advisory Council College and Education Seats

Applications must be received at our office no later than Friday, November 30th, 2018. For more information, please contact Nichole Rodriguez at (831) 647-4206, or by email. (10/22/18)

Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Foundation Announces Hire of Ginaia Kelly as Chapter Director

The National Marine Sanctuary Foundation is pleased to announces the hiring of Ginaia Kelly as chapter director of Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Foundation. Beginning October 22nd, Kelly will be responsible for managing the Foundation’s local work to support Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Kelly brings more than 16 years of experience with nonprofit organizations and has lived near the sanctuary for over 25 years. She spent much of that time advocating for conservation and protection of both the sanctuary, ocean and its shores. Form more information, please read the full announcement, or contact Marcus Reamer at (301) 608-3040 x 311, or by email (10/9/18)

Superintendent Statement: Whales in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Need Your Help!

Humpbacks and other marine wildlife are once again feeding close to shore. Enjoy them from a distance. Please respect these incredible animals and their natural behaviors. Give them plenty of room to feed and move through the area. The last thing anyone wants is harassment of a whale, or worse, an overturned boat and someone injured from getting too close. For more information please read the statment here. (10/4/18)

3rd Annual Leatherback Turtle Day at the Sanctuary Exploration Center – California’s State Marine Reptile

In recognition of California Leatherback Day, Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary invites the public to a celebration of the endangered Leatherback turtles at the Sanctuary Exploration Center from 5-8pm on Friday, October 12th. Featuring: 20-minute talks by Leatherback turtle scientists, an award-winning Leatherback short film by Dutton Media Productions, a life-size Leatherback turtle cast, and Leatherback art activities, such as DIY Leatherback wood-block printing, creating turtles and jellies from recycled materials, and a mini painting workshop. For more information, please call (831) 421-9993. (9/14/18)

2018 Nautilus Expedition in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary

From October 21-31, MBNMS is teaming up with Ocean Exploration Trust (OET) this fall to explore Davidson Seamount aboard the Exploration Vessel (E/V) Nautilus. The remotely operated vehicle (ROV) Hercules will discover uncharted seafloor and capture video imagery of deep sea communities seen at a depth up to 12,000 feet!. As part of the expedition, the Sanctuary Exploration Center is working with OET’s renowned oceanographer Dr. Robert Ballard and his team of scientists to bring real-time ship to shore interactions in the Center’s auditorium. Dive into a 20-30 minute conversation with live presenters on E/V Nautilus and learn the exploration mission goals and recent deep sea discoveries! For more information, please contact Amity Wood at (831) 647-4255, or by email.(8/31/18)

Superintendent Statement: Grounded Vessel Safely Removed from Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary

Today, NOAA’s Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary announced completion of the second phase of the emergency response and salvage removal of a 56-foot commercial fishing vessel that ran aground on August 12 with a maximum potential capacity of 1,200 gallons of diesel aboard near Natural Bridges State Park in Santa Cruz, California. (8/17/18)


Coastal Discovery Center Annual Ocean Fair

Join MBNMS and California State Parks for our annual celebration of the land and sea connection at the Coastal Discovery Center's Ocean Fair from 10 am to 4 pm in San Simeon. Family activities, build your own ROV, and environmental organization booths to discover. For more information, please call Carolyn Skinder at (805) 927–2145. (7/30/18)

Davidson Seamount Expedition 2018

From July 15-24, Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary scientists and partners will be heading out on a 10 day research expedition to the Davidson Seamount, an area in the sanctuary located approximately 80 miles southwest of Monterey. The 208 foot long NOAA FSV Bell M. Shimada will serve as the platform. Research will include marine mammal and seabird observations, plankton tows, midwater fish trawls, echo-sounder data collection, sea surface collection of microplastics, and water sampling for pollutants. Don't forget to follow the cruise by checking the daily log. (7/9/18)

Annual Get Into Your Sanctuary is coming August 4, 2018

Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary is hosting "Get into Your Sanctuary" day on August 4th, 2018. This National Marine Sanctuary System-wide event will raise awareness about the value of our sanctuaries as iconic destinations for responsible recreation through a series of free activities open to the public. We have special events planned at both our visitor centers, as well as the GIYS photo contest. For more information please contact Lisa Uttal at (831) 420-3669 or by email. (5/4/18)

So get out there and Get Into Your Sanctuary!


NOAA and CPUC have prepared a joint final Environmental Impact Review (EIR) and Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for Monterey Peninsula Water Supply Project

The statement analyzes the potential effects on the physical and human environment of the proposed action and alternatives. NOAA’s proposed action would be to authorize the installation of a subsurface seawater intake system, authorize the discharge of brine into MBNMS via an existing outfall pipe, and permit the continued presence of pipelines in MBNMS to transport seawater to or from a desalination facility. (3/27/18)

Ed Ricketts Memorial Award and Lecture

Join us for the 2018 Ed Ricketts Memorial Award and Lecture on April 10th at Moss Landing Marine Laboratories. Seating is limited, so first come first served. Please visit the Ricketts Award page for more information. (3/12/18)


Discovery Saturdays at the Coastal Discovery Center

Join sanctuary staff for "Discovery Saturdays" at the Coastal Discovery Center in San Simeon for a FREE guided beach and tidepool exploration activity! Find out what causes low and high tides and practice "tidepool etiquette" while exploring what lives on the rocks and in the sand between the tides.

  • Call 805-927-6575 to RSVP. FREE to the public, RSVP required
  • Meet 15 minutes before start time on your preferred date
  • Activity to last 45 min to 1 hour
  • Dress warmly according to weather
  • Shoes that can get wet are recommended
Location of Coastal Discovery Center's "Discovery Saturdays" are at San Simeon Beach, the ocean side of Hwy 1 across from Hearst Castle entrance in San Simeon, CA. For more information, please contact Carolyn Skinder at (808) 927-6575 or by email. (1/31/18)


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: 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)


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)


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)

Job Announcements


Position Announcement: Sanctuary Exploration Center Program Assistant

The National Marine Sanctuary Foundation, is seeking a, part-time Program Assistant to work for to work an average of 12-14 hours per week (including Sunday) to assist in the day-to-day operations and education programs at the Sanctuary Exploration Center at the Monterey Bay National Sanctuary.

The Program Assitant will work with the Sanctuary Exploration Center team and the NMSF to do the following:

  1. Assist in the daily operations at the Center:
    1. Open and close the center.
    2. Operate and troubleshoot computer equipment associated with exhibits.
    3. Greet and receive visitors during open hours.
    4. Answer questions about Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary and the Santa Cruz area.
  2. Act as a point of contact for volunteers at the center during open hours:
    1. Deliver briefing to volunteers at the beginning of a shift.
    2. Assist Volunteer Coordinator in day-to-day activities at the center.
    3. Work with volunteers on the exhibit floor.
    4. Write original content for volunteer weekly updates.
    5. Assist in docent enrichments and other events as they occur at the Center.
  3. Assist with Education Programs:
    1. Assist with school field trip programs at the Exploration Center
    2. Lead Guided Tours of the Visitor Center to groups of all ages.
  4. Other duties as assigned.

Compensation: $12 - $14 per hour based on experience.

Successful applicant will be provided a workstation at Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary’s Exploration Center in Santa Cruz, CA, and will have access to a computer, telephone, copier, and fax machine.

The National Marine Sanctuary Foundation is an “at will” employer, which means any employment relationship is entered into with the understanding the Employee may resign at any time and the Employer may discharge the employee at any time, with or without cause. The foundation abides by all Federal and CA State employment laws.

Please send a cover letter, resume and three professional references to Position announcement will be left up until position is filled. Applications received prior to 9/26/2018 will be preferred.

Electronic submissions are preferred in pdf or word format.

No phone calls please!

The National Marine Sanctuary Foundation is an equal opportunity employer.



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