Monterey Bay Marine Sanctuary

Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary

Established September 18 1992

By Leon Panetta and a bipartisan coalition in congress

The MBNMS was established in 1992 for the purpose of resource protection, research, education, and public use.  Protecting the pacific coast from oil and gas exploration.  The sanctuary is the largest protected coastal area in the continental United States.

The sanctuary’s northern boarder is Rocky Point in Marin county, just north of the Golden Gate Bridge. The sanctuary’s southern boarder is the end of the Big Sur Coast, to the town of Cambria in San Louis Obispo County.

The Sanctuary

Shoreline Length: 276 miles (one quarter of California coast)

Size: 6,094 square miles 4,024 square nautical miles (about the size of Connecticut)

Seaward Boundary: Average of 30 miles (48 km) offshore, and shoreward boundary the mean high tide.

Depth: The deepest point is 10,663 feet (3,250 meters) deeper than the Grand Canyon.

The sanctuary provides habitat for 34 species of marine mammals, 180 species of seabirds and shore birds, 525 species of fish and many invertebrates, 4 of turtles, 31 invertebrates, and more than 450 species of marine algae.

The Monterey Bay Marine Sanctuary supports one of the world’s most diverse marine ecosystems.

The MBNMS has major programs for research and monitoring, and another for education and outreach