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Sanctuary News, Announcements, and Programs



2019 Nautilus Expedition in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary

From October 13–18, MBNMS is teaming up with Ocean Exploration Trust (OET) this fall to continue exploring Davidson Seamount and further characterize the “octopus garden,” a deep-water (>10,000 feet) region within the borders of Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. In October 2018, scientists discovered extensive aggregations of over 1,000 brooding female octopuses. This area was not fully explored and will be the first objective of this cruise. Aboard the Exploration Vessel (E/V) Nautilus, the remotely operated vehicle (ROV) Hercules will chart seafloor and capture video imagery of deep sea communities seen at a depth up to 12,000 feet!. For more information, please contact Amity Wood at (831) 647-4255, or by email. (8/29/19)

2018 First Flush/Dry Run Monitoring Report Now Available

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2018 Snapshot Day Report Now Available

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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)

NOAA/MBNMS Release The Final Environmental Assessmen (EA) Report and Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for Pure Water Monterey Water Supply Project

Monterey One Water, the project applicant, is constructing the Advanced Water Purification Facility as part of the Pure Water Monterey Project. The purpose of the Pure Water Monterey Project is to create a reliable supply of water, replacing certain water sources in northern Monterey County. The primary objective of the Pure Water Monterey Project is to replenish the Seaside Groundwater Basin, provide additional recycled water for agricultural irrigation, and help to prevent seawater intrusion in the Salinas Valley Groundwater Basin. For more information, please visit this page, or contact Bridget Hoover by email.(3/29/19)

Support Students for Zero Waste Week 2019

Students in California are inviting their local communities to “Go Green. Think Blue.”, and join them in the 7th annual 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 out national marine sanctuaries. This year we are encouraging universities, businesses and organizations to participate in the 2019 Zero Waste Week campaign. For more information, please visit Students for Zero Waste Week web page. You may also contact Fuller Gerbl by email, or Seaberry Nachbar at (831) 647-4204, or by email. (2/22/19)

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)

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)


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)

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)

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)


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: July 03, 2019
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