Designated in 1992, Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary is a federally protected marine area offshore of California's central coast. Stretching from Marin to Cambria, the sanctuary encompasses a shoreline length of 276 miles and 6,094 square statute miles of ocean, extending an average distance of 30 miles from shore. At its deepest point, the sanctuary reaches 12,713 feet (more than two miles!). It is one of our nation's largest marine sanctuaries, larger then Yellowstone National Park.
The sanctuary contains extensive kelp forests and one of North America's largest underwater canyons and closest-to-shore deep ocean environments. Its diverse marine ecosystem also includes rugged rocky shores, wave-swept sandy beaches and tranquil estuaries. These habitats harbor an incredible variety of marine life.
There are so many ways to enjoy the sanctuary, including wildlife viewing, scuba diving, boating, surfing, and many other activities. So, when you visit the California central coast, be sure to “get into” our sanctuary!