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Monterey Bay

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Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary is the nation's largest marine sanctuary. This vast area stretches 350 miles north to south, extends an average of 35 miles offshore, and covers over 5300 square statute miles. The Sanctuary is managed to balance recreational and commercial uses with protection of water quality, habitats, and its bountiful resident and migratory marine life.

Rugged, rocky shores and an underwater canyon over ten thousand feet deep are two of its dominant physical features. Coastal topography varies greatly, encompassing steep bluffs with flat-topped terraces and pocket beaches to the north; large sandy beaches bordered by cliffs and large dune fields mid-sanctuary; and predominately steep, rocky cliffs to the south. Low- to high-relief mountain ranges and broad, flat-floored valleys are prevalent farther inland.

The Sanctuary is a home or a migration corridor for 26 species of marine mammals, 94 species of seabirds, 345 species of fish, 4 species of sea turtles, 31 phyla of invertebrates, and over 450 species of marine algae. A rich array of habitats including the open ocean, rugged rocky shores, sandy beaches, lush kelp forests, and wetlands support large numbers of seals and sea lions, whales, fish stocks, otters, and seabirds. Key species of the Sanctuary are the sea otter, gray whale, blue whale, humpback whale, market squid, brown pelican, rockfish, and giant kelp. For many migratory species, such as the gray whale, king salmon and brown pelican, the Sanctuary is also an important link to other habitats beyond its boundaries.

The photo gallery contains images which portray only a small portion of the living and physical resources of the sanctuary. In addition, it portrays some of the major uses of the sanctuary and the artwork of children who have visited. For a more detailed description of the marvels of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary visit the Monterey Bay description of the Marine Sanctuaries section of this site.


The Collection

The Living Sanctuary presents 24 photos depicting marine mammals, fish, birds, invertebrates, and algae. Among these images are elephant seals, leopard sharks, black oystercatchers, rockfish, jellyfish, and sea otters, to name just a few.

Habitats presents 23 photos depicting the various marine and nearshore habitats making up the sanctuary. Included in this section you will find images beaches, rocky intertidal areas, wetlands, kelp forests, and open ocean along with many other beautiful natural scenes.

People and the Sanctuary presents 10 images depicting the many ways that human beings utilize the sanctuary and its adjacent areas. You will see people recreating, working, volunteering their time, and learning the important lessons that the sanctuary has to offer.

The Sustainable Seas Expeditions photos for the May 1999 expedition are unavailable.

The Kids Gallery presents 10 submissions. Please browse 10 drawings submitted by school aged kids from the Monterey area.


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