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OceansLIVE Brings Sanctuaries to Viewers Via Live Webcasts
stilizing innovative multime dia capabilities, the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries has developed a way to bring our nation's underwater treasures to millions of Americans. In 2010, OceansLIVE. org allowed viewers to explore a shipwreck in Lake Huron, attend an ocean film festival in Monterey, Calif., and visit the world's only undersea research facility — all from a computer screen.

OceansLIVE goes beyond one-way transmissions. Through e-mail, social media and other tools, OceansLIVE programs let the audience participate in shows as they happen. During a "live dive" mission in Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary, viewers had their questions answered in real time by an archaeologist 70 feet below the surface.

OceansLIVE.org broadcast more than 50 hours of programming and reached more than 500,000 people around the world in 2010 alone. This innovative Web portal is a window into national marine sanctuaries, delivering informative, entertaining shows that make sanctuaries accessible to all.

New technologies and innovations are connecting people across the country to their national marine sanctuaries. From live webcasts and interactive, real-time kiosk displays to state-of-the-art visitor centers and applications for mobile devices, these diverse digital tools are making it possible for millions of Americans — wherever and whoever they are to virtually visit and learn about the underwater world of national marine 
sanctuaries from the comfort of dry land.

Digital Tools Link People with Marine Sanctuaries

smartphoneIn a world of ever-advancing technology, the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries is always looking for new ideas to connect people with our precious underwater places. Several online tools debuted in 2010 that make it possible for the public to learn about sanctuary science in a whole new way, including two innovative websites that let users explore interactive maps of research expeditions and water quality readings in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. At Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary, the popular “LiMPETS” monitoring network launched new education components, expanding its online tools for students to collect ocean observations in the sanctuaries and share them through the program's website. Looking ahead, Monitor National Marine Sanctuary is working to enhance its outreach efforts through an interactive multimedia tour that will guide visitors to North Carolina's Outer Banks through the region's rich maritime heritage using video and audio content downloaded to a smartphone or iPod.

Kiosks and Interpretive Signs Guide and Educate Sanctuary Visitors

Throughout the National Marine Sanctuary System, kiosks and signs play a key role in telling the public about sanctuary landmarks and resources that may not be visible from shore. Using video, sound and interactive elements to provide the public with a window into the sanctuaries, several kiosks were installed around the sanctuary system in 2010, including one at the Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center in Key West, which shows visitors a real-time display of the energy generated by solar panels on the center's roof that provide up to 30 percent of the building's power. At Cape Cod National Seashore and Halibut Point State Park, new kiosks provide real-time shipping traffic imagery and a video on endangered whales in Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary. Additional kiosks were installed featuring sanctuary information and real-time ocean and weather conditions for Flower Garden Banks, Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale and Channel Islands national marine sanctuaries, with more scheduled for development in 2011. Also at the Channel Islands sanctuary, signs highlighting the Channel Islands Marine Protected Area Network are now displayed at boat launch ramps and visitor centers on the islands, complete with maps, regulations, species of interest and recreational activities.

New Visitor Centers to Open in Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz

volunteers on the beachNOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries kicked off two major construction projects in 2010 that will enhance the science, education and public outreach efforts of sanctuary staff in California. The first, which broke ground Jan. 11, is a new Ocean Science Education Building at the University of California, Santa Barbara, that will house the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary headquarters and the state-of-the-art Outreach Center for Teaching Ocean Science (OCTOS). The result of a collaboration between sanctuary staff and the UCSB Marine Science Institute, OCTOS will provide diverse, interactive ocean education activities for children in grades K-12. The second facility, which broke ground July 12, is the long-awaited Sanctuary Exploration Center in Santa Cruz. As the gateway to NOAA's Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, the Exploration Center will serve the entire Central California region and will foster stewardship of the sanctuary by connecting people with, and educating them about, its ecosystems, geology and marine life.

Gulf of the Farallones Sanctuary Unveils Ocean Climate Center

volunteers on the beachNOAA's Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary opened the new Ocean Climate Center in October 2010 at its headquarters in San Francisco. The center will become an ocean and climate change communication hub for the Bay Area, serving as a place where scientists and policymakers from federal, state and local agencies, academic institutions, and other non-profit groups can exchange information and ideas. The sanctuary has also designed a new public interpretive center that will help inform people through a variety of outreach programs about how climate change may affect ocean ecosystems. Sanctuary staff will use the center to promote partnerships, share knowledge and resources, and work cooperatively to better understand and address the effects of climate change in national marine sanctuaries and throughout northern central California's waters. The center is housed in an 1890s-era Coast Guard building retrofitted with numerous "green" features like LED lighting, dual-flush toilets and more efficient heating.

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Revised February 14, 2011 by Sanctuaries Web Team | Contact Us | Web Site Owner: National Ocean Service
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