Explore The Blue

Much of what happens in the National Marine Sanctuary System occurs out of sight, beneath the waves. Through science and research, we can better understand how marine communities function—and once we understand them, we can better protect them.

In "Explore The Blue," learn how monitoring ocean noise in sanctuaries is enabling researchers to better understand the effects of anthropogenic noise on marine life. Discover how long-term monitoring capability and local partnerships make it possible for sanctuaries to respond to shifting ocean conditions and ecosystem emergencies.

It's hard to truly understand and track ecosystems and maritime heritage artifacts from a distance. Throughout the decades, diving operations have made it possible for scientists all across the National Marine Sanctuary System to study conditions and key species. In this section, check out some of the recent research projects NOAA divers have been working on.

Plus, new technology is making it possible for scientists—and the public—to study parts of the ocean that divers can't reach. Research vessels like the NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer and Ocean Exploration Trust's E/V Nautilus are equipped with remotely operated vehicles and telepresence capabilities. Using robotics, researchers on these vessels can venture deeper into the ocean than ever before, and can bring high-definition video and photos back to shore in real time. In this section, learn about recent expeditions that have brought sanctuary resources to the public in real time using telepresence.

Image: A research diver documents the vibrant habitat of California’s Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Joe Hoyt/NOAA