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Sanctuary News, Announcements, and Programs



MBNMS Offices and Visitor Centers Have Reopened!

Our top priority is the health of our guests who come to learn about Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, and the National Marine Sanctuary System, as well as the staff and volunteers who support our visitor centers. Please check in with the office or centers before planning your visit, as we're following local and departmental guidance. If you have further questions, please contact Dawn Hayes by email. (5/12/2022)

Sanctuary Fest: Enjoy, Learn, and Protect!

Join us on September 18th from 9am–3pm as we celebrate Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary’s 30th anniversary, as well as the 50th anniversary of NOAA’s National Marine Sanctuary System along the Santa Cruz Wharf, Cowell Beach, and at the Exploration Center. Alongside our partners Pu Pu ’O Hawai’i Outrigger Canoe Club, experience the annual Aloha Races starting off the wharf at 9am and beginning at 10am, enjoy numerous family-friendly activities including scavenger hunts, exhibitor fair, ocean recreation, and guided wildlife tours. The Exploration Center will host art and science activities, and feature short ocean films. For more information, contact Amity Wood at (831) 647-4255 or email (8/1/22)

Netflix’s Series Features an Episode on Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary

The online streaming service Netflix premiered "Our Great National Parks", a five-part documentary series about the world's most breathtaking national parks and the wildlife that live there. Episode 3 features a 52 minute episode on NOAA’s Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, narrated by President Barack Obama. The episode features some conservation issues facing national marine sanctuaries and the entire world’s ocean, while highlighting the importance of protecting our treasured natural resources. Some of the marine species featured include orcas, southern sea otters, northern elephant seals, gray whales, and many more. See the trailer and stream on Netflix with subscription. (4/26/22)

BAUE Volunteer Divers Remove Underwater Discarded Tires

Divers remove debris from the deep! Recently, Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary and California State Parks partnered with Bay Area Underwater Explorers (BAUE) and Lee Oceans Foundation to recover 26 discarded tires from Point Lobos State Marine Reserve. The tires were of unknown origin and are harmful to underwater habitats by displacing substrate and leaching heavy metals and chemicals into the surrounding water. BAUE divers conducted numerous survey dives at 100-170 foot depths to locate the tires in the marine protected area. Removal of each 40 lbs. tire from the seafloor required lift bags and support from the vessel Escapade to return the debris to land for proper disposal. For more information, visit the Lee Oceans Foundation. (4/26/22)

NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries Releases Final Management Plan and Final Environmental Assessment for MBNMS

Over the last decade, the sanctuary's natural and cultural resources and environmental conditions have changed, creating new challenges for protecting resources and facilitating compatible use. At the same time, new tools for effective management have emerged, driven by scientific advances, technological innovation, and new partnerships. An evaluation of requirements and approaches, both current and future, ensure we, and our partners, are making the most effective use of programmatic resources. (11/12/21)

MBNMS Advisory Council Fall 2021 Recruitment

MBNMS is recruiting for multiple members for the Sanctuary Advisory Council. All applications must be in no later than Friday, December 10th by close of business. For more information, please contact Dawn Hayes at (831) 647-4256, or by email. (11/03/21)

Superintendent Statement: Large Vessels Close to the Coast in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary

Large vessels such as container ships and oil tankers have been sited close to the Monterey Bay coast over the past few weeks. NOAA’s Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary is working closely with the U.S. Coast Guard to remind the vessels about advisable routes recommended by the International Maritime Organization (IMO). Shipping companies are cooperating with the sanctuary’s request that large vessels move west of the recommended routes and well offshore while waiting for entry into San Francisco. For more information, please email Karen Grimmer. (4/13/21)

2020 Ed Ricketts Memorial Award and Lecture

Join the MBNMS Research Activity Panel at the virtual 2020 Ed Ricketts Memorial Award and Lecture, presented to Dr. Terrie M. Williams, Director of the Center for Marine Mammal Research and Conservation, University of California, Santa Cruz. Register for the January 21, 2021 webinar here. (12/16/20)

Attention Teachers!

Explore MBNMS through our new Distance Learning Programs for your students! Access our pre-recorded marine science programs and lesson plans for free, or schedule a 45 minute LIVE Virtual Interaction Program for a fee. For more information, please email Chelsea Prindle. (11/2/20)

MBNMS Virtual Dives and Feature Film “One Breath” are now available!

Watch the stunning 18 minute film highlighting the sanctuary from filmmaker Bob Talbot, and take yourself on a virtual dive tour to explore 360° images taken from 11 different sanctuary locations. Use virtual googles for the ultimate immersive experience!. For more information, please email Amity Wood. (10/29/20)

Support Students for Zero Waste Week 2020

Students in California are inviting their local communities to “Go Green. Think Blue.”, and join them in the 8th annual Students for Zero Waste Week. During this week-long campaign, students are focusing on reducing land-based waste and in turn, helping to protect the health of local marine environments. Their goal is to raise awareness of how single-use plastic and other types of litter affect the health of the local watersheds and our national marine sanctuaries. This year we are encouraging universities, businesses and organizations to participate in the 2020 Zero Waste Week campaign. For more information, please visit Students for Zero Waste Week web page. For more information, please contact Jezella Peraza by email. (12/17/19)

NOAA Expands Seafloor Protection off West Coast Starting January 1st 2020

More than 140,000 square miles of seafloor along the West Coast will be protected from bottom trawling under a plan implemented by NOAA on January 1st, 2020. Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS) participated in the decade-long review of Pacific Coast groundfish Amendment 28, Essential Fish Habitat Conservation Areas (EFHCA) within Sanctuary waters, providing critical seafloor, coral, sponge and fish assemblage data, vital to the decision to protect sensitive habitats from bottom trawling. More information on the National Marine Fisheries Service’s (NMFS) federal register notice can be found here. (12/3/19)

What’s in Your Watershed? Snapshot Day Celebrates 20 Years of Water Quality Monitoring

Snapshot Day exemplifies a successful 20-year collaboration between dedicated volunteers and a network of water quality professionals on the central California coast. Diverse public agencies, local companies, non-profit organizations, and citizens are all committed to healthy coastal watersheds and a thriving Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary ecosystem. Read the Web Story, or contact Lisa Emanuelson by email for more information. (4/9/19)

Job Announcements


Position Announcement: Sanctuary Exploration Center Exhibits Specialist

Location: Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Exploration Center, Santa Cruz, CA
Supervisor: Sanctuary Exploration Center Manager
Status: Part-Time/Non-Exempt position (20 hours/week)

The National Marine Sanctuary Foundation, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that is a leading voice for U.S. protected waters, is seeking a Sanctuary Exploration Center Exhibits Specialist, a part-time position responsible for assisting in the day-to-day facility operations, upkeep of existing exhibits, and support the development of new exhibits at the Sanctuary Exploration Center.

Located just steps from Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, the Exploration Center is a free visitor center hosting state-of-the art, interactive exhibits. The center has a variety of physical and digital exhibits, a state-of-the-art theater, learning classroom, administrative offices, and a gift store. Approximately 60,000 visitors are served annually.

This person in this position will be an employee of the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation, supporting the scope of a Cooperative Agreement with NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries. This position will be embedded with the staff at Sanctuary Exploration Center in Santa Cruz, California.

  • Essential Responsibilities:
    The Exhibits Specialist will work with the Sanctuary Exploration Center team and the NMSF to do the following:
    • Manage exhibit infrastructure including hardware and software systems.
    • Troubleshoot exhibit malfunctions and make sure all exhibits are functioning properly during operational hours.
    • In coordination with MBNMS staff, oversee exhibit modifications and functional improvements including AV systems and hardware within project budgets.
    • Serve as project lead for new exhibit installations; plan budgets and timelines for project completion; and act as point of contact for exhibit fabricators.
    • Responsible for ordering supplies necessary and managing the construction for any existing or new exhibits. Track spending within project budgets.
    • Support the implementation of the Exploration Center’s interpretive exhibit plan.
    • Serve as technical IT support for special events, as needed.
  • Required Qualifications:
    • One or more years of professional experience with exhibit maintenance or audio-visual systems.
    • Able to attend to details, effectively prioritize a variety of competing tasks under strict timelines and meet multiple deadlines and approval processes.
    • Ability to develop solutions and recommendations for on-the-ground issues related to facility and/or exhibit maintenance.
    • Skilled in originating new approaches or adapting existing approaches to develop and carry out projects.
    • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
    • Availability to work on Saturday or Sunday.
    • Demonstrated computer proficiency Google Suite of tools.
  • Preferred Qualifications:
    • Experience in either video editing, Raspberry Pi computer programming, or underwater robotics is preferred.
    • Experience in Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, or other graphic design software is preferred.

For more information and to apply, please visit the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation recruitment announcement..








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