Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary is home to a rich abundance of marine mammals, seabirds, and fish, diverse populations of kelp and algae, and thriving invertebrate communities.

In addition to important ecological resources, the sanctuary has a rich cultural and historical legacy. Over two hundred shipwrecks are documented along the Olympic Coast. In addition, the vibrant contemporary communities of the Hoh Tribe, Makah Tribe, Quileute Tribe, and the Quinault Indian Nation have forged inseparable ties to the ocean environment, maintaining traditions of the past while they navigate the challenges of the present.

A historical Makah Tribe petroglyph features a sailing ship on a jagged rock

History and Culture

Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary occupies a maritime cultural landscape that has supported humans since time immemorial.

Black & white photo of the capsized and split General M.C. Meigs along the rocky shoreline of Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary


Shipwrecks mark the history of maritime shipping on the Olympic Coast, their remains broken by the intense natural forces of the coastline.

a harbor seal underwater

Marine Life

Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary is home to a rich abundance of marine life.

a rocky coastline with tidepools in foreground and sea stacks in the distance

Sanctuary Environment

The ocean environment of the Olympic Coast is wild and dynamic.

marine invertebrates on the seafloor with a light from a remotely operated vehicle shining on them

Deep Sea

Scientists use specialized tools such as remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) to explore deep sea habitats featuring a diversity of species.

sea stacks stick out from calm water


Marine habitats, like those on land, form the key to healthy communities of marine wildlife.

sea urchins and kelp

Virtual Dives

Immerse yourself in the ocean and your national marine sanctuaries without getting wet!