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

NOAA's national marine sanctuary offices and visitor centers are closed to the public while the waters remain open for responsible use in accordance with CDC guidance and local regulations. More information on the response from NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries can be found on

Skip to main content
Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary National Marine Sanctuaries Home Page National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Home Page

Kenneth Coale, Debbie Colbert, Eric Kingsley, and Heidi Zamzow
Moss Landing Marine Laboratories
P.O. Box 450, Moss Landing, CA 95039


The general chemical composition of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS) reflects that of the water masses bathing this region together with both point source and diffuse non-point inputs to these waters. The oceanographic setting of the MBNMS is characteristic of temperate midlatitude eastern boundary current systems (Sverdrup et al. 1942). Of global significance is the fact that the Sanctuary lies at the end of the oceanic conveyor belt (Broecker 1991) and therefore receives some of the oldest ocean waters in the world. The water upwelling off our coast last saw daylight in the North Atlantic and the Southern Ocean; as a consequence, its composition reflects over 1000 years of transit and regeneration.

< Previous - Chemical Oceanography TOC