Explore Locally with the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation

A version of this blog was first published by the Recreate Responsibly Coalition. Click here to find the original posting.

This year, safe physical distancing is a must to slow the continued spread of COVID-19. While we all want to do our part to help, this has been no easy task! To make up for a summer of quarantining, many people are dreaming of far-off destinations,  but an adventure can be just as exciting if you’re exploring locally. Luckily, there are national marine sanctuaries all around the U.S. that can serve as your long-awaited escape.

Exploring the tidepools of Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary is a family friendly experience. Photo Credit: NOAA/Matt McIntosh

Explore A National Marine Sanctuary Near You 

As we continue staying home, you and your family might be looking for creative ways to pass the time and connect with nature. Rather than jumping on a plane across the globe, consider the wonders right around you! There are 14 national marine sanctuaries and two national marine monuments all across the U.S. and exploring one nearby can be a cheaper and more environmentally-friendly way to find adventure.

America’s national marine sanctuaries are our underwater parks, rich with natural and cultural resources that are waiting to be explored. There are countless activities to enjoy that can be done according to CDC guidelines for safe physical distancing. These include sustainable recreational fishing, diving with recognized Blue Star Dive Operators, bird-watching, canoeing, kayaking, paddleboarding, and more.

In addition to all the excitement of surfing swells in Monterey Bay or paddling alongside a floating museum in Mallows Bay, national marine sanctuaries also offer a place of serenity. Looking out over the beautiful waters of these special places can bring a sense of peace and provide a much-needed break from reality.

As you plan your next vacation, think about a staycation! America’s national marine sanctuaries are a place for everyone. By visiting the sanctuaries around you, you can reduce your impact on the environment, limit the spread and your exposure to COVID-19, and discover a local paradise. For your next getaway, find a national marine sanctuary near you and discover wonder.  #RecreateResponsibly


Resources for Explore Locally: