Explore the Blue

Much of what we know about our national marine sanctuaries started with teams of scientists, sailors, and explorers who were adventurous enough to dive into the dark depths of the ocean and learn everything they could. A vast majority of the world's waters are unexplored, and today sanctuaries represent bright hubs for science and investigation. The National Marine Sanctuary System collaborates with scientists to obtain new knowledge on ocean and Great Lakes health, species diversity, ecosystem durability, and more.

In this section, Explore the Blue with Dr. Leila Hatch, a scientist working to understand and document changing conditions in Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary. Then, discover some of partnerships that are made possible by sanctuaries and the vessels that ply their waters.

Then, learn how sanctuaries promote resilient coastal communities. Whether it’s through protecting barrier reefs that break up storm surge or by leading the way in post-disaster recovery, national marine sanctuaries ensure that these special places, and the communities who call them home, can thrive for the future.

Finally, learn how sanctuaries and our partners are protecting highly endangered North Atlantic right whales from threats like ship strikes and entanglement.