Mission Statement
The mission of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS) is
to understand and protect the coastal ecosystem and submerged cultural
resources of central California.
Northern Boundary: Rocky Point, 7 miles north of Golden Gate Bridge.
Southern Boundary: Cambria, San Luis Obispo County.
Seaward Boundary: Average of 30 miles offshore.
Shoreward Boundary: Mean High Tide.
(831) 647-4201 Main office
Paul E. Michel, Sanctuary Superintendent
[email protected]
September 18, 1992.

The Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS) is a federally protected marine area offshore of California's central coast.  Stretching from Marin to Cambria, the MBNMS encompasses a shoreline length of 276 miles and 6,094 square miles of ocean, extending an average distance of 30 miles from shore, and the deepest point of the MBNMS is the Monterey Canyon, which reaches down 12,713 feet below sea level.


The Monterey Bay is the eleventh national marine sanctuary and is part of a system of 13 national marine sanctuaries and two marine national monuments, administered by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).  This includes the Channel Islands off of southern California; Cordell Bank and the Gulf of the Farallones in northern California; Fagatele Bay at the island of Tutuila, American Samoa; the Florida Keys; the Flowers Garden Banks in the Gulf of Mexico; Gray's Reef off of the coast of Georgia; the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale habitat; the Monitor near North Carolina's Cape Hatteras lighthouse; the Olympic Coast in Washington; Gerry E. Studds Stellwagen Bank in Massachusetts; Thunder Bay in Lake Huron off of Michigan; Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument at the northwestern Hawaiian Islands; and the Rose Atoll Marine National Monument in American Samoa.

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