It’s World Ocean Day and a great reminder as to why WHALE BAY is embarking on a journey to create a company that can make meaningful contributions to the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary and other sanctuaries like it. These sanctuaries are amazingly beautiful and important, because they provide a safe habitat for wildlife, act as a laboratory for ocean research, are classrooms to educate the public, provide amazing recreation opportunities, and are an important part of the local economies.
At WHALE BAY, we are focused on the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, because it is a relatively short drive for us, and we have enjoyed much that it has to offer over the years. We are connected to it through our history, passion for the animals that live there, and our everyday weather. The Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary is one of 14 sanctuaries and 2 national marine monuments that are managed by NOAA and the National Marine Sanctuaries. The National Marine Sanctuaries cover over 600,000 square miles of marine waters around the United States including the Great Lakes and reaching to America Samoa. These protected underwater parks are much like the National Park system and have a huge diversity of habitats that include kelp forests, reefs, deep sea canyons and archeological sites like shipwrecks. We feel extremely lucky to be just a short drive away from the Monterey Bay. Check out this video from Blue Ocean provides a wonderful overview and a glimpse of what is under the water at the sanctuaries.
As we continue to blog more and spotlight the amazing creatures, you will find that there is so much more down there than you can imagine! Take a look at these guys!
Creating a safe habitat for animals and maintaining biodiversity is one major reason why these sanctuaries are so important, but their importance goes well beyond:
Safe Habitat for Wildlife
The sanctuaries are protected and therefore wildlife thrives. You can encounter dolphins, orcas, humpback feeding, and gray whales migrating from a whale watching boat or even from the beach. Sea otters, elephant seals, sea lions, and harbor seals are also abundant. See the large array of critters you can find in the sanctuary. Some you can’t see like the animals in the video above, because they live thousands of feet down. Even if they are out of sight out of mind, they are also extremely important to the well-being of the sanctuary.
Place for Scientific Research
There are approximately 50 research institutions in and around the sanctuary that do extremely important research on the health of the ocean, make exciting deep sea discoveries, look for ways to protect and heal the ocean, continue technology advancements for studying the ocean and educate the public.
You may not know, but underneath the water in the Monterey Bay is a canyon as deep as the Grand Canyon. The cold water upwelling from the canyon creates amazing food sources for many animals. The bay is considered the Serengeti of the ocean, because of the variety of species that come to live and feed there. Due to the accessibility, the sanctuary is an amazing classroom for kids and adults alike. Places like the Monterey Bay Aquarium are geared towards educating the public about the bay, but also are setting the foundation for the next generation of researchers and problem solvers.
We have always been drawn to the sanctuary. Although we live inland, we can feel the influence of the Pacific Ocean when the cool breeze and fog rolls in after scorching summer days. As often as we can, we head to the coast to cool off, take in the immense beauty, play at the beaches, go tide pooling, hiking, kayaking, visit the coastal towns, and take advantage of the myriad of wildlife viewing opportunities. If you don’t live nearby like we do, you can take advantage of the great hotels, bed and breakfasts, and camping spots to make a lifetime of memories.
Boost to Economy of Coastal Towns
With the amazing amount for recreational activities and tourism opportunities, the sanctuaries support important coastal economies. According to NOAA, $8 billion is being generated annually.
If you would like to know more about the National Marine Sanctuaries and how you can help, you can go to the NOAA Website and if you want to know more about Ocean Day, visit the World Ocean Day. Although Ocean Day is on June 8th, everyday can be ocean day. Don’t forget to limit plastics (reuse, reduce, and recycle), and next time you go to the beach, bring an extra paper bag or bucket and fill it with any garbage you find!
Lastly, we will be following up with much more information on amazing things you can do and see around the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary now almost 30 years into its existence. We’ll leave you with the 25th Anniversary Video for a little history on how it came to be. While you are watching this and other sanctuary videos, enjoy a great cup of coffee. May we suggest our WHALE BAY Colombian Supremo, a bold smooth roast and a portion of each sale goes to the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Foundation, the local the local non-profit partner for NOAA’s Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.
We would love to hear from you and come back soon!