Our national marine sanctuaries are hotspots of biodiversity and culture. They are home to iconic species like migratory whales and majestic sea birds, and habitats like massive coral reefs and towering kelp forests; and, they preserve our historical and cultural remains like shipwrecks, aircraft, and artifacts that define our nation’s maritime history. The National Marine Sanctuary Foundation’s work aids in the conservation and protection of these special places.
From the largest whales to microscopic invertebrates, sanctuaries protect marine life that captures our imagination and inspire us. We support projects to rescue, rehabilitate, and release marine mammals; monitor local animal populations; and, creating solutions to the challenges facing rare, threatened, and endangered species that call sanctuaries home.
Healthy aquatic habitats are essential to life on Earth, to the people who rely on them, and to strong coastal economies. Our habitat protection and restoration projects across the National Marine Sanctuary System include fighting plastic pollution, restoring coral reefs, detecting and combating invasive species, and monitoring water quality to detect even the slightest of changes that harm ecosystems.
Our national marine sanctuaries contain over 350 known shipwrecks and aircraft and countless artifacts from throughout our nation’s seafaring history. We are dedicated to honoring our past, sustaining cultural heritage, and ensuring it all remains part of our American identity. Heritage projects we support include shipwreck expeditions, underwater archaeology, and cultural events.
The National Marine Sanctuary Foundation works in partnership with the National Marine Sanctuary System
and its individual sanctuaries and monuments to ensure a healthy and thriving future for the ocean and Great Lakes.
Dive deeper into our work to protect marine animals and their homes, advance scientific discovery, preserve the Nation’s maritime heritage, support local economies and businesses, and nurture the next generation
of marine and Great Lakes explorers.