Go beneath the surface

Dive In

National Marine Sanctuary System

The Office of National Marine Sanctuaries serves as the trustee for a network of underwater parks encompassing more than 620,000 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 16 national marine sanctuaries and Papahānaumokuākea and Rose Atoll marine national monuments.

national marine Sanctuary system map

Sanctuary News

a shoreline with a steep cliff and many bowling-ball like rocks on the beach

Marine Heatwaves, Kelp Loss, and Water Quality Hazards Highlighted in Greater Farallones Condition Report

The sanctuary’s latest condition report shows that while bountiful and beautiful, Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary is not immune to human-caused pressures. The primary pressures that have and continue to impact sanctuary resources are climate change, land use, marine harvest activities, vessel activity, marine debris, wildlife disturbance, and non-indigenous species. Learn more about these issues and how the condition report will guide future management decisions for the sanctuary.

Read more stories

National Marine Sanctuary System Posters

ROV shinning it's light at the bottom of Davidson Seamount; A varity of sealife can be seen including deep-sea corals, sponges, deep-sea fishes, crustaceans, jellies, and an octopus gardens
Coastal mangroves and seagrass are nurseries for many species of fish, invertebrates and birds that inhabit Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. These calm, shallow waters are ideal for paddle sports, snorkeling, and fishing for species like tarpon. The offshore coral reef features elkhorn and brain corals, sponges, and other invertebrates which create habitat for spiny lobster, urchins, and many other species of reef fish like sergeant major and larger fish like sharks, rays, barracuda, and snapper.

During the National Marine Sanctuary System's 50th anniversary celebration in 2022, a commemorative poster series was launched to capture the beauty and diversity of each site in the system. The posters are two sided, featuring original artwork on the front and educational information on the back. Other posters created for the system over the years have also been added. Dive in and download your sanctuary posters today!

Virtual Dives

Immerse yourself in the ocean and your national marine sanctuaries without getting wet!

Dive Into Your Sanctuaries


Our planet is an ocean planet: Earth Is Blue. The National Marine Sanctuary System protects some of the most iconic underwater places throughout the United States, but we can't do it without you. No matter where you are, the ocean and Great Lakes are in your hands. We hope these images inspire you to help care for our ocean and to spread the word that Earth isn't green – it's blue.

Submit your own photos and join us on:

Bright pink anemones and a barnacle
A Hawaiian monk seal mother and pup lying on a beach
Humpback whale underwater


Stories from the Blue

Stories from the Blue celebrate the people at the center of national marine sanctuaries and marine national monuments. What does the National Marine Sanctuary System mean to you?

What does the National Marine Sanctuary System mean to you?

Earth is Blue Magazine

Waves crash near a light house

Sanctuary Nomination Process

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.

a surfer and bodyboarder standing on the beach looking at the water


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

Plan your visit
a pair of kayakers with marine debris they collected on their kayak

Get Involved

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

How you can help