The Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS) protects 6,094 square statute miles (4,601 nmi2) of ocean, stretching along the central coast from San Francisco to Cambria and includes pristine beaches, jewel-like tide pools, lush kelp forests, steep canyons and an offshore seamount. The Monterey Canyon is one of the deepest canyons on the coast of California — deeper than the Grand Canyon.
The Sanctuary supports commercial fishing and recreational activities such as diving, kayaking, boating and surfing. Biodiversity within the Sanctuary is high, with 32 species of mammals, 209 species of birds, 525 species of fish and over 450 species of algae documented (MBNMS Site Characterization).
The Sanctuary has an extensive monitoring and research program Sanctuary Integrated Monitoring Network (SIMoN) to understand changes occurring in the Sanctuary ecosystem. The Sanctuary staff work in collaboration with many institutions and organizations to determine gaps in scientific information, study emerging issues and resource management objectives, and interpret/provide information to decision makers and the public.
The Monterey Bay MBON research efforts are led by Francisco Chavez, Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, in collaboration with researchers at Stanford University Center for Ocean Solutions, the MBNMS and the NOAA Southwest Fisheries Science Center.
Photo provided by Collin Closek.