Mobile Apps

National marine sanctuaries in the palm of your hand.

Diver underwater with fish

Experience California

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, Greater 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.


  • Map content for Channel Islands, Cordell Bank, Greater 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 and 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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photo of whale alert on ipad and iphone

Whale Alert

Mariners and the public on the U.S. West Coast can now use an iPad™ and iPhone™ to help decrease the risk of injury or death to whales from ship strikes.

Whale Alert a free mobile application originally developed in 2012 to help protect endangered right whales on the East Coast, has been updated with new features to provide mariners in the Pacific with the most current information available about whale movements and conservation initiatives.

The app uses GPS, Automatic Identification System, Internet and NOAA nautical charts to provide mariners with a single source of information about whale locations and conservation measures that are active in their immediate vicinity. New features include information about California Marine Protected Areas, PORTS® (Physical Oceanographic Real-Time System) tide and weather data and the ability for the public to report whale sightings to databases that NOAA and whale biologists use to map whale habitats and migration patterns.

Whale Alert data collected by citizen science and scientists are currently available online at the Whale Alert - West Coast website. “More is usually better when it comes to data,” said Jaime Jahncke, Point Blue Conservation Science lead on the project. “Whale Alert allows us to crowd source data collection, so that as scientists we have more information available to help protect whales from ships.”  

Whale Alert can be downloaded free of charge from Apple’s App Store.

More information:
Whale Alert - West Coast 
NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries
Bioacoustics Research Program at the Cornell Lab or Ornithology
International Fund for Animal Welfare
Point Blue Conservation Science
Whale Alert - East Coast
CINMS Ship strikes
GFNMS Ship strikes

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photo of fishalerts app on iphone


FishAlerts! National Marine Sanctuaries, Marine Protected Areas, Fishing Rules and Regulations, and Social Networking.

The FishAlerts! Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) and Social Networking app is an exciting new app that allows you to view all available marine protected areas, national marine sanctuaries and their restrictions from your iPhone, iPad and Android phones. Before FishAlerts!, this information was only available through hard-to-navigate government websites and web browsers. Not any more…  Now, by simply downloading the FishAlerts! app you can know where you can and can’t fish with a couple taps of the touch screen.

At FishAlerts!, we want you to have the best, worry free, on-the-water experience possible. We have also included marine weather and tide information, along with an easy-to-use Facebook and Twitter integration, so that you can share all of your favorite fish pictures and posts with your most popular social networks.

Features include:

  • See My Location and relationship to local NMS / MPA’s in real time
  • View fishing restrictions for all U.S. marine protected areas, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands
  • Check tide and local weather information for better trip planning
  • Instantly share fish pictures and posts with family and friends through Facebook and Twitter
  • 4 apps in 1 simple-to-use interface
  • And much more to come, like the fishing rules and regulations for CA, FL and MA!

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photo of seaphoto app on iphone


Teachers, students, beachgoers, researchers and others can now view a wealth of information about central California marine life through a new iPhone and iPad application released by NOAA's Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. The free "SeaPhoto" app, the first of its kind for the region, includes more than 1,300 photos of marine life, some with detailed ecological information.

"People connect to Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary in so many ways," said Paul Michel, sanctuary superintendent. "We are proud to be able to facilitate this virtual use in an instructive way through cutting-edge technology."

In addition to the photos of more than 550 species of marine life, the mobile app includes an extensive, searchable glossary of common and scientific names. Users can save their favorite photos and share them via Twitter and email. The app also provides general information about the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries and links to the sanctuary's web site and its YouTube channel. Developed in partnership with Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Foundation, SeaPhoto can be downloaded free of charge from the Apple App store onto an iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad. The app is a mobile extension of an even larger online photo library that currently contains over 4,200 photos of seascapes and marine life that can be accessed at These photos can be downloaded for free for non-commercial use.

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