Brightly colored coral

Photo: Michael Alyono

Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary

A map showing the location of Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary

Location: Central California coast

Size: 6,094 square miles

Designated: 1992

Habitat: Kelp forests, rocky shores, seamounts, submarine canyon, estuary, sandy beaches, open ocean

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Where in the world can you see Pacific leatherback sea turtles, Risso’s dolphins, northern elephant seals, southern sea otters, nudibranchs, leopard sharks, wolf eels, and more? Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary!

Known as the “Serengeti of the Sea,” Monterey Bay supports an incredible abundance of wildlife. The sanctuary is home to 36 species of marine mammals, more than 180 species of seabirds and shorebirds, 525 species of fish, and a multitude of invertebrates and algae. It’s one of the most diverse assemblages of marine life in the world.

With more than 50 research institutions in the area, the greater Monterey Bay community has emerged as a global leader in marine science. By collaborating with local organizations, the sanctuary keeps tabs on the health of marine species, habitats, and ecosystems, so that Monterey Bay will remain spectacular in the future.

Monterey Bay is a wildlife watcher’s dream, and there are plenty of ways to experience your sanctuary. Whether it’s watching whales, paddling in the slough, reeling in salmon, exploring tide pools, or diving among kelp forests, there is no more spectacular place to enjoy the ocean and the outdoors.