2023 Get Into Your Sanctuary Photo Contest

May 26, 2023 through September 4, 2023

Details

Kelp Forest Ecosystems
Species of the Kelp Forest

Want to learn about what species call kelp forests home? Explore this range of resources about sea otters, fish, seals, and more to learn about their role in these ecosystems and how they utilize kelp forests.

sea otters swimming through a kelp forest

Sea Otters on the Olympic Coast

Sea otters aren't just adorable animals, but they are also an important keystone species, meaning their presence is central to the health of their environment. Researchers have recently been investigating how sea otter reintroduction has affected the ecosystem in Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary -- check out our video to learn more!

Giant Sea Bass swimming in a kelp forest

Giant Sea Bass

Giant sea bass are at the top of the food web in the Kelp Forest Ecosystems in places like Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary.

elephant seal laying on kelp on the beach

Elephant Seals in Monterey Bay

In the late 1800s, northern elephant seals were thought to be extinct after decades of extensive commercial hunting. But in the last century, these seals have made an amazing recovery! Today, you can see northern elephant seals throughout Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.

harbor seal and fish swimming in a kelp forest

Curious Harbor Seals
of Monterey Bay

Have you ever encountered one of these curious creatures on a trip to NOAA's Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary? Meet the harbor seal in this week's Earth Is Blue video!

sea star and sea urchins on a rocky ledge

Sea Stars in Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary

Star light, star bright, first star I see tonight – make a wish and get to know the sea stars of Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary!

sea cucumber on a rocky ledge

California sea cucumber in Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary

Meet the California sea cucumber, one of the many invertebrates that calls NOAA's Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary home!

sea star on a rocky ledge

Sea Stars in Olympic Coast

Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary is known for big charismatic animals like orcas and sea otters. But how much do you know about the smaller animals, like sea stars, that dwell here?

sea lion swimming near the seafloor

Sea Lions in Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary

Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary is home to a variety of animals, including sea lions. Learn about these inquisitive creatures in our video!

photo of ia nudibranch crawling over red bryozoan

Invasive Species at Monterey Bay

Invasive species in the marine and estuarine environments of Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary can alter species composition and native biodiversity, impact ecosystem structure and function, and disrupt commercial and recreational activities.

Kayaker paddles through an arch rock formation

What Will I See:
Channel Islands

Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary offers wonderful diving, fishing, kayaking, and boating opportunities to explore the islands' kelp forest and rocky reefs, sea caves and enjoy breathtaking views of scenic coastlines. Within the sanctuary, there are twenty-seven different species of whales and dolphins, five species of pinnipeds, and sixty species of seabirds.

overhead view of a blue whale swimming near the surface of the water

Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary Wildlife

The upwelling of a unique and powerful current within Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary is responsible for creating one of the most spectacular and biodiverse marine ecosystems on the planet. It is home to one of the largest feeding grounds for white sharks, 36 species of marine mammals, over 390 species of fish, and over 330 species of invertebrates – deep sea corals, sponges, shrimp, crab and other mollusks and crustaceans and much more.

animaged cover of a book with a sea otter holding a clam

Sea Otters 101

Get the rundown on everything you need to know about sea otters through this video. Sea otters are one of the many species that call the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary home.