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Sanctuary News, Announcements, and Programs



Superintendent Statement: Report and Do Not Disturb Cotton Bales Washed Up on Local Beaches!

Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary is asking the public to report and not disturb any cotton bales that have washed up recently on local beaches. The bales are believed to be from a container ship that, according to the U.S. Coast Guard, lost 24 containers on February 6th, 2024, approximately 15 miles west of the sanctuary offshore of Monterey Bay. For more information please read the statment here. (3/15/2024)


Help to protect Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, an underwater national treasure. Join our volunteer team and become a steward and advocate for a healthy ocean. Learn about your opportunities during a Virtual Information Webinar on February 28, 2024 6:00-7:00 pm. Please register here to attend, or contact Lisa Uttal by email if you have further questions. (1/29/2024)

DRAFT Restoration Plan and NEPA Evaluation for the YFD-70 Dry Dock for GFNMS and MBNMS

Public Comment Period Extended! Due to a technical error during the previous comment period, the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries is extending the opportunity for public comment via email until March 15, 2023 on the Draft Restoration Plan and NEPA Evaluation for the YFD-70 Dry Dock for Greater Farallones and Monterey Bay national marine sanctuaries that proposes to help restore sanctuary resources injured as a result of this incident. Download and view the plan here. Any comments that were submitted during the original period should be re-submitted to be considered for input. Comments must be submitted to by March 15, 2023. (2/13/23)

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)

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)

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)

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Reviewed: April 11, 2024
Web Site Owner: National Ocean Service

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