Earth Is Blue Magazine

In partnership with the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation, the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries publishes a yearly magazine in print and electronic formats. Through vivid images and engaging articles, Earth Is Blue: The Magazine of the National Marine Sanctuaries brings sanctuaries directly to the American public, so you can experience the wonder of our ocean and Great Lakes even if you don't live nearby.

earth is blue magazine volume 1 cover - women on the beach taking a picture of the ocean

Earth Is Blue Magazine - June 2016

  • An Impact for Special Places
  • Take only Memories
  • Stories from the Blue
  • ¿Qué Bolá Cuba?
  • Learning from the Past to Protect the Future
  • Freeing a Giant
  • In Hot Water
  • From Compassion to Action

National Marine Sanctuary System

The Office of National Marine Sanctuaries serves as the trustee for a network of underwater parks encompassing more than 170,000 square miles of marine and Great Lakes waters from Washington state to the Florida Keys, and from Lake Huron to American Samoa. The network includes a system of 13 national marine sanctuaries and Papahānaumokuākea and Rose Atoll marine national monuments.

map highlighting sanctuary locations Thunder Bay Flower Garden Banks Stellwagen Bank Monitor Gray's Reef Florida Keys Channel Islands Monterey Bay Cordell Bank Gulf of the Farallones Olympic Coast Papahanaumokuakea Hawaii Humpback Whales American Samoa mallows-bay lake-michigan

Sanctuary Nomination Process

For the first time in two decades, NOAA invites communities across the nation to nominate their most treasured places in our marine and Great Lakes waters for consideration as national marine sanctuaries.

In response to ongoing widespread interest from the public, NOAA has launched a new, locally driven sanctuary nomination process developed with input from more than 18,000 public comments. Throughout the nomination process, NOAA will be available to answer questions and provide guidance to nominating communities and other interested parties. NOAA will also update nominators on the progress of the agency's review of their nomination.

www.nominate.noaa.gov

Actor and activist Edward James Olmos lends his voice to the new sanctuary nomination process and offers a challenge to the American people. Watch in HD

earth is blue logo

When astronauts first launched toward the moon and looked back at our planet for the first time, they made an unexpected discovery: Earth is Blue.  Earth is Blue is a social media awareness campaign to highlight NOAA’s National Marine Sanctuary System and its fourteen special marine protected areas across the country. The campaign began on October 23, 2014, the 42nd anniversary of the system, and shares one photo each day and one video each week highlighting the wonder and beauty of these special places and the work NOAA does to protect them.

photo of dolphins

Aug. 28, 2016: Are you enjoying the weekend as much as these common dolphins in Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary? (Photo: Ken Tatro)

In February and March of 2016, NOAA and partners conducted an expedition to explore deep waters in and around Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. Using the high-definition camera's on NOAA's Deep Discoverer remotely operated vehicle, scientists captured imagery of deep-sea biology and geology at depths ranging from 2,130 feet to 2.7 miles (650 - 4,300 meters) that had never been seen before. 

On August 26, 2016, President Obama expanded the monument by 442,781 square miles, bringing the total protected area to 582,578 square miles and making it the world's largest marine protected area.  Portions of the video originally filmed outside of Monument boundaries are now protected.

This expedition is part of a three-year effort to gain basic knowledge about the largely unknown marine protected areas in the Pacific. The combined information gained during this effort will help managers to better understand, and therefore protect, these special places.

Video courtesy of NOAA; produced by the Global Foundation for Ocean Exploration.

Sanctuary Spotlight

Visit a Sanctuary

National marine sanctuaries are ideal destinations for travelers who enjoy a diversity of recreational activities.

Plan your visit

Get Involved

Volunteers help to ensure marine sanctuaries remain America's underwater treasures for future generations.

How you can help