National marine sanctuary offices and visitor centers closed to the public; waters remain open

NOAA's national marine sanctuary offices and visitor centers are currently closed to the public, and in accordance with Executive Order 13991 - Protecting the Federal Workforce and Requiring Mask Wearing, all individuals in NOAA-managed areas are required to follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance on mask-wearing and maintaining social distances. Sanctuary waters remain open for responsible use in accordance with CDC guidance, U.S. Coast Guard requirements, and local regulations. More information on the response from NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries can be found on

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Research Technical Report

Old-growth forests of the deep sea

Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (2007)

2006 Annual Report, pages 22-25


Sailors off the Big Sur coast are awed by the spectacular, natural beauty of that rugged coastline, only lightly touched by the hand of man. Yet most are unaware that a mere 1,250 meters (4,100 feet) beneath them lay the peaks of an extinct undersea volcano that puts even the Big Sur coast to shame. Rising 2,440 meters (8,000 feet) above the surrounding deep seafloor, this undersea mountain, Davidson Seamount (Figure 26), is a stunning oasis of colorful coral gardens that support a rich assemblage of deep-sea animals. This pristine habitat is the deep-sea equivalent of an old-growth forest, and a 2006 expedition of the R/V Western Flyer provided an opportunity to share this delightful vista with the public.

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