Our nation’s largest national marine sanctuary, and second largest marine protected area, stretching from Marin county - north of San Francisco - to San Luis Obispo county, encompassing 275 miles of coastline.
Major programmatic initiatives:
- Ecosystem-Based Management
Our coastal and marine environments are changing and face many threats. Ecosystem-based management, considering entire ecosystems rather than managing single issues or resources, is an innovative approach integrating ecological, social and economic factors. Efforts in this area link to the National Ocean Policy as well as the California’s Ocean Protection Council strategic action plan (2012-2017.)
- Water Quality
Significant energy and focus is applied to addressing the land-sea connections impacting coastal water quality. Integrated regional water management programs, citizen watershed monitoring programs and collaborations with the agricultural community, cities and local municipalities are all components of this strategic priority. The programs are widely acclaimed as a great working example of the value of collective agency, nonprofit and citizen action. Our relationships include the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture – Natural Resources Conservation Service, County Farm Bureaus and Resource Conservation Districts, the State Coastal Conservancy, the State Water Resources Control Board, the California Department of Water Resources and many others.
- Science-Based Monitoring and Reporting
Monitoring and reporting on the health of the ocean ecosystem, communicating the outcomes of research and science activities from many organizations to resource managers, policy makers, academia and the general public. The Sanctuary Integrated Monitoring Network (SIMoN) is a National Marine Sanctuary Program model for comparable efforts elsewhere, including the Gulf of the Farallones, Cordell Banks and Channel Islands sanctuaries. SIMoN’s database resources and communication methods have also been used as the model for the national ocean observing system established over the past five years.
- Education and Outreach with an emphasis on the recently designated state marine protected areas and the new Santa Cruz Sanctuary Exploration Center
Since 2007, the Foundation has coordinated an education and outreach program about the twenty-nine central coast marine protected areas created as part of the Marine Life Protection Act. Beginning in 2012, the organization will collaborate on the opening and operations of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary’s Exploration Center in Santa Cruz, CA.
Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary website: