The National Marine Sanctuary Program Condition Reports provide a summary of resources in each sanctuary, pressures on those resources, the current condition and trends, and management responses to the pressures that threaten the integrity of the marine environment. Specifically, the reports include information on the status and trends of water quality, habitat, living resources and maritime archaeological resources and the human activities that affect them. Click here to learn more about what a condition report is.
In the National Marine Sanctuary System Condition Report the status and trends of resource condition are evaluated across the system. Among the many pressures on the natural and archaeological resources in the system, a number stand out: marine debris entanglement, trapping and ingestion, loss of biodiversity, wildlife disturbance, ship strikes and water quality, to name a few. In the face of these pressures, sanctuaries are making important strides in resource protection through progressive, science-based management, targeted resource protection programs and engaging education and outreach activities.
Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary contains spectacularly rich and diverse marine life. With a variety of habitats including kelp forests, sandy bottom, and open ocean, it is home to diverse fish and invertebrate communities, serves as part of the migratory route of whales, and as feeding and breeding grounds for seabirds and marine mammals.
Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary is an extremely productive marine area off the west coast of United States in northern California. With its southern-most boundary located 42 miles (68 km) north of San Francisco, the sanctuary is entirely offshore, with the eastern boundary six miles from shore and the western boundary 30 miles (48 km) offshore at the 1000 fathom (1829 m) depth contour.
Fagatele Bay National Marine Sanctuary is an isolated national marine sanctuary contained within a small, flooded volcanic crater on the southern coast of Tutuila, American Samoa. The site is uniquely rich in both natural resources and cultural heritage. Fagatele Bay and its fringing coral reef have experienced severe disruptions from cyclones, crown-of-thorns starfish outbreaks, and more recently from coral bleaching and diseases (the causes of these are not fully understood).
Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary is one of the largest marine protected areas in the United States, encompassing 2,896 square nautical miles (9,933 square kilometers). It was designated by Congress and exists under federal law, and became effective in state waters with the consent of the state of Florida.
Located in the northwestern Gulf of Mexico, Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary includes three separate areas, known as East Flower Garden, West Flower Garden and Stetson Banks. The banks range in depth from 55 to nearly 500 feet.
Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary protects particularly dense and nearshore patches of productive “live-bottom habitat” that are sparsely distributed from Cape Hatteras, N.C., to Cape Canaveral, Fla., on the inner- and mid-shelf of the South Atlantic Bight.
Located off the Central California coast and encompassing 966 square nautical miles, Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary protects a diversity of highly productive marine habitats and supports an abundance of species. It is a complex system of bays, estuaries, mudflats, marsh and intertidal, coastal and oceanic waters, and is influenced by the highly urbanized San Francisco Bay area populated by nearly 8 million people.
Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary is currently a single-species sanctuary whose primary mission is the protection of humpback whales and their habitat in the main Hawaiian Islands. Each winter, the sanctuary is home to more than half of the North Pacific humpback whale population. The sanctuary works with community members and agency representatives to protect one of the most important humpback whale breeding calving, and nursing grounds in the world.
In an effort to preserve one of the most famous shipwrecks in U.S. history, the wreck of the USS Monitor was designated our first national marine sanctuary on Jan. 30, 1975. The sanctuary comprises a column of water one nautical mile in diameter extending from the ocean’s surface to the seabed around the wreck of the Civil War ironclad, which lies 16 miles south-southeast of Cape Hatteras, N.C.
Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary is the largest national marine sanctuary and one of the largest marine protected areas in the United States. Within the boundaries of the sanctuary is a rich array of habitats, from rugged rocky shores and lush kelp forests to one of the largest underwater canyons in North America.
Designated in 1994, the sanctuary's mission is to protect the Olympic Coast's natural and cultural resources through responsible stewardship, to conduct and apply research to preserve the area's ecological integrity and maritime heritage, and to promote understanding through public outreach and education.
Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument is the single largest conservation area under the U.S. flag, encompassing 137,797 square miles of the Pacific Ocean - an area larger than all the country's national parks combined. Thanks to their isolation and past management efforts, the reefs of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands are considered to be in nearly pristine condition.
Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary contains one of the richest and most productive marine habitats in the U.S. It is home to a diverse fish community and serves as one of the most important feeding grounds in the North Atlantic for a number of migratory endangered whale species as well as some apex fish predators such as bluefin tuna and sharks.
Designated in 2000, Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary protects a nationally significant collection of historic shipwrecks and related maritime cultural resources in northern Lake Huron. Through research, resource protection and education, the sanctuary works to ensure that these important historic, archaeological and recreational sites are preserved for current and future generations.