mbnsf banner
Home PageAbout UsProjects and PartnersCNSF Resources and PublicationsSupport Us

Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Exploration Center

Sanctuary Exploration Center

The Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS), the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation (NMSF) and the California Marine Sanctuary Foundation (CMSF) collaborated with the City of Santa Cruz in a public-private partnership to fund the Sanctuary Exploration Center. Open since July 2012, the Exploration Center hosts nearly 100,000 visitors per year.

The 12,500-square-foot Sanctuary Exploration Center features a variety of engaging bilingual interactive exhibits; a state-of-the-art classroom; views of the ocean; a small theater; and a gift and bookstore. As a Leader in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) building, the Center operates in a sustainable manner that is consistent with the environmental messages at the center.

Visitors to the Center are encouraged to participate in learning about the Sanctuary, the issues impacting the sanctuary and ones’ personal role in protecting one of our nation’s ocean treasures.

The Sanctuary Exploration Center is so much more than your typical science museum. Inside visitors can find:

  • Dynamic, interactive multi-media exhibits designed for both children and adults

  • A theater featuring underwater video on a wide-screen

  • Learn how to drive a remotely operated vehicle under water.

  • Ways to appreciate and preserve the natural resources in the sanctuary.

Visitors admire the Kelp Forest exhibit at the Sanctuary Exploration Center

Through these unique and interactive exhibits, the Sanctuary Exploration Center helps guests understand the interconnectedness of the sea life, the impacts of land-based human activity, and the uniqueness of the sanctuary’s marine habitat. The ultimate goal is to have visitors come in the door with a curiousity about the ocean, and go out the door as wise ocean stewards, helping to preserve Monterey Bay and the ocean for generations to come.

The Exploration Center is now open to the public! To find out more, please visit: http://montereybay.noaa.gov/vc/sec/welcome.html.

Scientific Research & Monitoring (SIMoN)
Water Quality
Sanctuary Exploration Center
Marine Protected Areas and the California Marine Life Protection Act

footerMBNMS SiteChannel Islands National Marine SanctuarySite MapContact Us

All materials presented on this site are Copyright 2014 by the California Marine Sanctuary Foundation or other organizations and agencies where noted. Resources may be used for non-commercial purposes. For commercial use please contact us. All photographs on this site have all copyrights reserved by the photographer and written permission must be given for other uses.