Contact: Ben Sherman
NOAA News Releases 2005
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NOAA’s National Marine Sanctuary Program has unveiled a new free online resource that highlights the diverse marine life of America’s ocean and Great Lakes treasures. The “Encyclopedia of the Sanctuaries” offers photos, streaming video and important facts for more than 100 key animal and plant species from each of the national marine sanctuaries.

“NOAA’s ‘Encyclopedia of the Sanctuaries’ provides critical information on the diverse life found in the oceans and is an excellent example of the resources NOAA develops to improve the nation’s environmental literacy,” said retired Navy Vice Admiral Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Jr., Ph.D., under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. “This encyclopedia is a wonderful resource for the nation’s educators and the public.”

The “Encyclopedia of the Sanctuaries” allows users to search for their favorite species or browse the wildlife of each sanctuary by category, ranging from spiny lobster to killer whales and from white-tipped reef sharks to sea anemones. The encyclopedia entry for each species includes a photo, quick facts, information about its diet, habitat, distribution and status, and links to outside resources for more information. Many of the entries also offer engaging, high-quality video clips of species in their natural habitats, making the “Encyclopedia of the Sanctuaries” an entertaining and informative resource for educators, students of all ages, zoos and aquaria, science and technology centers, and natural history museums.

The online encyclopedia was developed by NOAA in partnership with the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation and The Ocean Channel, Inc., a California-based New-media corporation. It is part of a continuing effort to enhance the public’s understanding and appreciation of the ocean environment. The project was funded through an education grant provided by the National Marine Sanctuary Program.

The Encyclopedia of the Sanctuary is available online at:

The National Marine Sanctuary Foundation, a private, non-profit, 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization, was created to assist the federally managed National Marine Sanctuary Program with education and outreach programs designed to preserve, protect and promote meaningful opportunities for public interaction with the nation's marine sanctuaries.

NOAA’s National Marine Sanctuary Program seeks to increase public awareness of America’s ocean and Great Lakes treasures by conducting scientific research, monitoring, exploration and educational programs. Today, the Program manages 13 national marine sanctuaries and one coral reef ecosystem reserve that together encompass more than 150,000 square miles of America’s ocean and Great Lakes natural and cultural resources.

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

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, an agency of the U.S. Commerce Department, 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. Through the emerging Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), NOAA is working with our federal partners and nearly 60 countries to develop a global monitoring network that is as integrated as the planet it observes.

On the Web:


NOAA’s Ocean Service:

NOAA’s National Marine Sanctuaries:

National Marine Sanctuary Foundation:

The Ocean Channel: