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California's National Marine Sanctuaries
in the Palm of Your Hand

The sights, sounds, history and natural wonders of California’s coast are highlighted in a new iPhone/iPad application released by the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation and NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries.

The National Marine Sanctuaries: Experience California mobile app provides users the ultimate utility in planning their next vacation in and around Monterey Bay, San Francisco and Santa Barbara. Developed by International Mapping, the app features points of interest for more than 600 locations across the Monterey Bay, Gulf of the Farallones, Channel Islands, and Cordell Bank national marine sanctuaries. It covers more than 8,600 square miles of federally protected ocean and coastal waters stretching from Big Sur to the Farallon Islands.

“This app is an innovative way to experience the richness of California’s underwater national parks in the palm of your hand,” said John Frawley, President and CEO of Aquarium of the Bay and The Bay Institute. “Visitors to places, like San Francisco Bay, will be able to learn about our national marine sanctuaries located just offshore.  In addition, families, teachers and students will now have another tool to use to nurture the young minds of America’s future marine stewards.” 

For each sanctuary, the app provides general information including travel tips, current weather, visitor center locations, hours, and more. The app also features a searchable encyclopedia, glossary and photo galleries that bring the sanctuaries and their habitats to life. Detailed maps allow users to locate sanctuary points of interest, filter them by activity, get directions from their current location, add them to a list of favorites, and share the information on their social networks. Visitors can tag locations on the map with their own photos and comments, as well as share them with other app owners.

“The Experience California app provides users with an all-in-one visitor’s guide to some amazing places in the marine environment that anyone can use to create vacation memories that last a lifetime,” said William Douros, West Coast Regional Director, NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries. “We’re very excited and pleased to present this app to the public.”


  • Map content for Channel Islands, Cordell Bank, Gulf of the Farallones, and the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuaries
  • Points of interest for more than 600 locations in and around the four California sanctuaries
  • 300+ gallery photos
  • 400+ search-able encyclopedia terms
  • Visiting tips
  • Local area forecasts
  • Local action items to help support the Sanctuaries


  • GPS Tracking of your location even without Wi-Fi or cell reception
  • Map Tools including distance, area, bearing, and compass
  • Customized pins to record photos, comments, & locations
  • Share your custom pins with others who have the application
  • Detailed national marine sanctuary encyclopedia
  • Detailed search capabilities by nearby locations or by type
  • Identify the Latitude/Longitude or UTM Coordinate for any place on the map
  • All primary content will be included in the download ensuring that the App will be functional even when a Wi-Fi signal is unavailable.


  • iPhone (3GS or later)/iPad compatible
  • Requires iOS 4.3 or later

The National Marine Sanctuaries: Experience California app can be purchased from the Apple App store and downloaded to an iPhone or iPad. Search National Marine Sanctuaries in iTunes.


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Revised July 31, 2017 by Sanctuaries Web Team | Contact Us | Web Site Owner: National Ocean Service
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