Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary
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Welcome to the Olympic Coast National Marine 
Sanctuary web site. Here you'll discover the marine life and extraordinary habitats 
that make up your nation's marine sanctuaries and our continuing efforts to conserve 
these ocean and coastal treasures.
panorama view of Olympic Coast's coastline
Welcome to NOAA'simage indicates link leaves this site official website for Olympic Coast National
Marine Sanctuary. Within these pages you'll find words, maps and
pictures that just begin to hint at the wonders of this important
part of America's marine landscape and the National Marine Sanctuary Systemimage indicates link leaves this site.

orca whale
Orca whales are one of 29 species of marine mammals in the sanctuary.

Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary includes 2,408 square nautical miles of marine waters off the rugged Olympic Peninsula coastline. The sanctuary extends 25 to 50 miles seaward, covering much of the continental shelf and several major submarine canyons. The sanctuary protects a productive upwelling zone - home to marine mammals and seabirds. Along its shores are thriving kelp and intertidal communities, teeming with fishes and other sea life. In the darkness of the seafloor, scattered communities of deep sea coral and sponges form habitats for fish and other important marine wildlife.

paragorgia coral
Brilliant Paragorgia corals and feather-like crinoids grace the seafloor.
In addition to important ecological resources, the sanctuary has a rich cultural and historical legacy. Over two hundred shipwrecks are documented here. In addition, the vibrant contemporary communities of the Makah Tribe, Quileute Tribe, Hoh Tribe, and Quinault Nation have forged inseparable ties to the ocean environment, maintaining traditions of the past while they navigate the challenges of the present.

You'll learn about the Olympic Coast as a place - the qualities that make it extraordinary. Visit The Living Sanctuary to learn about ocean processes, the underwater landscape, marine wildlife, marine habitats and traditional cultures and maritime history. Throughout the website you will also learn about our important work – conserving this incomparable place and its resources for generations to come.

So, dive in, get to know us and explore Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary!


Protecting Vital Waters as Marine Sanctuaries
By Mike Boots
Forty years ago, President Ford approved the designation of the country's first marine sanctuary - the USS Monitor National Marine Sanctuary, protecting the shipwreck of one of the most famous Civil War ironclads. Since then, 13 other marine protected areas have been added to the Sanctuary system, encompassing more than 150,000 square miles of ocean along our coasts, in the Great Lakes, and near the Hawaiian islands and American Samoa.

Like the Monitor, some of these sanctuaries and monuments provide insight into our nation's history. Others protect areas rich in biological diversity and significant for scientific research and discovery. Many are economically valuable for fishing, tourism, and recreation. Together, the network of sanctuaries helps preserve a natural resource that all Americans depend on, no matter where they live: a healthy and thriving ocean.

See more news stories...

Habitats you can't see from the ocean's edge.
How to watch wildlife without causing harm.
Tune In
Videos of life on the ocean floor!

Contact for page content: Jacqueline Laverdure
Revised June 03, 2015 by Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary   |    Contact Us   |    Report a broken link  |
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