NOAA 03-466
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Ben Sherman
10/29/03
NOAA News Releases 2003
NOAA Home Page
NOAA Public Affairs


EDUCATORS, RESOURCE MANAGERS, GENERAL PUBLIC TO GET CLOSE LOOK
AT MONTEREY BAY SANCTUARY THROUGH INTERACTIVE WEB SITE

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary today launched a new state-of-the-art Web site that provides users fast, easy access to the latest high quality scientific research and monitoring information on the sanctuary’s major habitats, species and issues.

Operated by the sanctuary’s Integrated Monitoring Network - referred to as SIMoN - the website is based on a GIS (Geographic Information System) map of the sanctuary that will also allow users to access actual data and build their own downloadable maps to visually display monitoring results. NOAA is part of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

“The SIMoN Web site is a powerful new tool for gathering and communicating information on the health of the sanctuary and on-going monitoring efforts to a wide audience,” said Monterey Bay Sanctuary Superintendent William J. Douros. “The Web site showcases monitoring projects conducted by hundreds of people, organizations and agencies and provides integrated information for all to use.”

Users may log onto the SIMoN Web site at: http://www.mbnms-simon.org. Web site content will be revised on a regular basis to provide the most accurate, up-to-date information. To further build the SIMoN program and expand the Web site, users are encouraged to provide comments, suggestions and information related to additional issue areas and monitoring projects.

The Web site presents information on 15 major sanctuary habitats and issues, including kelp forests, rocky shores, submarine canyons, water quality, marine mammals and seabirds. It includes an interactive mapping application that allows users to create their own maps incorporating information from various data sets. The Web site was developed with contributions from world-class scientists at marine research institutions in and around central California, and some citizen monitoring initiatives.

SIMoN is a regional collaborative effort, designed in partnership with the regional science and management community and operated by the sanctuary in cooperation with the Monterey Bay Sanctuary Foundation and the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary stretches along 276 miles of central California coast and encompasses more than 5,300 square miles of ocean area. Renowned for its scenic beauty and remarkable productivity, the sanctuary supports one of the world’s most diverse marine ecosystems, including 33 species of marine mammals, 94 species of seabirds, 345 species of fishes and thousands of marine invertebrates and plants.

NOAA’s NMSP seeks to increase public awareness of America’s maritime heritage by conducting scientific research, monitoring, exploration and educational programs. Today, 13 national marine sanctuaries encompass more than 18,000 square miles of America’s ocean and Great Lakes natural and cultural resources. In addition, the NMSP is now conducting a sanctuary designation process to consider incorporating the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Coral Reef Ecosystem Reserve into the national sanctuary system.

NOAA’s National Ocean Service manages the NMSP and is dedicated to exploring, understanding, conserving and restoring the nation’s coasts and oceans. The National Ocean Service balances environmental protection with economic prosperity in fulfilling its mission of promoting safe navigation, supporting coastal communities, sustaining coastal habitats and mitigating coastal hazards.

The Commerce Department’s NOAA is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and providing environmental stewardship of our nation’s coastal and marine resources.

On the Web:

NOAA: http://www.noaa.gov

NOAA National Ocean Service: http://oceanservice.noaa.gov

National Marine Sanctuary Program: http://sanctuaries.noaa.gov

Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary: http://montereybay.noaa.gov

Monterey Bay Sanctuary Foundation: http://mbnmsf.org