Sanctuaries to Viewers
Via Live Webcasts
|tilizing 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.
Digital Tools Link People with Marine Sanctuaries
In 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
NOAA'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
NOAA'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.