Monterrey Bay Marine Sanctuary
March 10, 1997 -- Off the central Californian Coast lies the sanctuary program's largest site-Monterey Bay, National Marine Sanctuary. Encompassing 5328 square miles of coastal waters, the sanctuary is one of the most funded and most visited. Indeed, superlatives are well within Monterey's "vocabulary". Not only is Monterey Bay the largest of the program's sites-larger than our largest National Parks -- Yellowstone and Yosemite -- its kelp forests are the country's largest and its submarine canyons are North America's deepest.
From sandy beaches and rugged shores to kelp forests and underwater canyons, Monterey Bay NMS is host to a range of habitats that support such key species as sea otters, rockfish, gray whales, giant kelp, and brown pelicans.
On September 20, 1997, a day long celebration was held at the Santa Cruz Municipal Wharf in honor of Monterey’s 5th anniversary. Thousands of people gathered to learn more about this sanctuary and to listen to local bands play traditional (and not-so-traditional) surf music.
The RADIO EXPEDITIONS team made our first trip to Monterey National Marine Sanctuary to check out some of Año Nuevo’s most intriguing residents -- the elephant seals. Join NPR’s Alex Chadwick and scientist Professor Burney Le Boeuf of the University of California, Santa Cruz as they investigate these fascinating - and very loud - creatures.