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Statement of West Coast and Pacific Islands Regional Directors NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries

“World’s Toughest Row” connects two national marine sanctuaries
across the Pacific Ocean, June 13, 2023

  Contact: Nicole Capps, Program Analyst (831) 647–6451
picture of rowing team
“World’s Toughest Row” departing Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary with the destination of Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: William Douros/NOAA

 

Fourteen rowing teams departed Monterey Harbor (in central California) this week for a rowing competition connecting the U.S. West Coast with the Hawaiian Islands. Over the next 30 to 45 days, participants in the “World’s Toughest Row” will traverse a course that will take them through two of the world’s great marine protected areas -- Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary and Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary.

As rowing teams departed the Monterey Bay sanctuary -- the “Serengeti of the Sea” -- they were accompanied by several humpback whales, huge pods of northern right whale dolphins, Pacific white-sided dolphins, and flocks of shearwaters from New Zealand and Argentina.

The rowers will spend June -- National Ocean Month -- on the Pacific Ocean, rowing to the Hawaiian Islands and finishing their journey in Hanalei Bay, Kauai, in Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary.

NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries serves as the trustee for a network of underwater parks encompassing more than 620,000 square miles of marine and Great Lakes waters from Washington state to the Florida Keys, and from Lake Huron to American Samoa. The network includes a system of 15 national marine sanctuaries and Papahānaumokuākea and Rose Atoll marine national monuments.

 

William J. Douros, Regional Director
West Coast Region
NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries

Kristina Kekuewa, Regional Director
Pacific Islands Region
NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries

 

Reviewed: September 08, 2023
Web Site Owner: National Ocean Service

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