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Working in our National Marine Sanctuaries

On our research road trip we are really excited to #GetIntoYourSanctuary at 3 different National Marine Sanctuaries along the US west coast. National Marine Sanctuaries are similar to national parks, but for special places in our ocean waters and Great Lakes. Our first two sites, Point Pinos in Monterey, CA and Rancho Marino Reserve in Cambria, CA, are both in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. MBNMS, one of the larger of the 14 current Sanctuaries, is 276 miles of stunning coastline and 4,601 square nautical miles of ocean. The coasts, lined with amazing rocky intertidal communities, are adjacent to magnificent underwater forests called kelp forests. Also in MBNMS are estuaries, sandy beaches, and lots of seals, sea lions, and otters (for all those charismatic megafauna loving people out there). I, personally, love MBNMS for the abundance of diverse tidepools because, well, my research is focused on tidepool communities (more on that soon!). In addition to Monterey Bay, we are also going to be working in the Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary later this week and Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary next month.

Here are some of the cools things that we got to see in Monterey.

Piper (left) and Nyssa (Right) getting ready to head out to Point Pinos for field work
Elephant seals in Piedras Blancas State Marine Reserve just north of Cambria

Baby seastar on some surf grass

Tidepool at night FILLED with herbivorous snails (Chlorostoma) and sea anemones (Anthropluera)

Piper surveying the intertidal in Monterey and Lauren in the background getting tide heights

For more information about the National Marine Sanctuaries Program check out and make sure to get into your sanctuary!

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