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

A PDF version of this report is available here:

NPS-OC-11-007_sm.pdf (4.2MB)

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Monthly Distribution of Shipping Vessels Within the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, January-December 2010

Miller, C.W. (September 2011)

Naval Postgraduate School Report prepared for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, 43pp.


After the discovery of a forty foot shipping container resting on the ocean floor within the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS), the MBNMS began a study to research the impact that containers lost at sea might have on the marine environment. The Naval Postgraduate School Oceanography Department was approached to provide some measure of the total shipping which passes within the boundaries of the MBNMS. Utilizing the Automated Identification System (AIS) message data, both total shipping and cargo shipping totals were calculated and monthly density plots were generated to show those areas which are most impacted by vessel traffic. In addition to providing informing the issue of lost shipping containers, these plots can also be used by the MBNMS and NOAA's other West Coast Sanctuaries to understand interactions between shipping and wildlife, especially within the context of ship strikes to whales.