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Executive Summary

Editors: J. Guerrero and R. Kvitek

This site characterization of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS) is a summary of existing information about MBNMS natural resources. The project was funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Sanctuaries and Reserves Division via a cooperative agreement with Moss Landing Marine Laboratories in the fall of 1994 (completed June 1996), and is the first comprehensive site characterization for a designated national marine sanctuary to be produced for broad dissemination in an electronic format.

Two products have been created in this first phase of the project:

1) a summary document covering the MBNMS physical setting (Geology, Physical Oceanography, Climate & Meteorology, Chemical Oceanography), biological communities and assemblages (River Mouths, Brackish and Estuarine Wetlands; Coastal Dunes; Sandy Beaches; Rocky Intertidal; Kelp Forest and Rocky Subtidal; Shallow Soft Bottoms; Deeper Bottoms; Cold Seep Communities; Pelagic Habitats; Marine Mammals; Seabirds & Shorebirds; Anadromous Fishes), and human influences (Early Uses of Resources; Socioeconomic Uses; Resource Needs), and

2) a bibliographic database of peer-reviewed and "gray" literature pertinent to the MBNMS, including all literature cited in the summary document as well as other pertinent references obtained from research, educational and resource management institutions; consulting groups; interviewed experts; and independent searches.

An award supplement from the MBNMS in spring 1995 gave project staff the opportunity to format these products for broad dissemination on the Internet, resulting in an easily-searched document and database and multiple links between relevant subjects. Equally important, it has also allowed this to become a "living" document which can be readily updated and expanded in scope via incremental inputs of time and funding.

The second phase of this site characterization will focus on coverage of additional topics (especially Archaeological, Cultural and Historical Resources) and also expand the bibliographic database.

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

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