of the Farallones
and Cordell Banks NMS
Monterey Bay National Marine
Sanctuary embraces more than one-quarter (approximately 350 miles) of the
California coast. It spans approximately 5,300 square miles of coastal waters
extending from Cambria (just north of Morro Bay) to Rocky Point (just north of
San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge), where it joins boundaries with the Gulf of
the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary. Within its boundaries is a rich array
of habitats, from rugged rocky shores, sandy seafloors and lush kelp forests to
one of the deepest underwater canyons on the West Coast.
richness of the ocean's harvest in Monterey Bay brought explorers
to this area from many nations. The Spanish arrived in the late 1700's, establishing
a pastoral lifestyle and an extensive network of missions, which relied heavily
on livestock. Monterey was established as the region's capital under Spanish rule,
and as a port through which cargoes were certified. The Spanish exported valuable
otter pelts gathered by Russian and Indian hunters to Asia, Europe, and the Americas.
New England whalers often hunted along the central coast in the late 1700's and
early 1800's, feeding a voracious East Coast market for oil, baleen and meat.
wealth of shipwrecks in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary are a result
of the significant maritime exploration and trade which has occurred here, coupled
with a coastline dotted with shallow, rocky headlands and largely exposed to fog,
prevailing winds and storms. More than 140 shipwrecks have been documented
in this region, and there are undoubtedly more that are not recorded. The shallow,
rocky areas of Point Lobos, Cypress Point, Point Pinos and Santa Cruz have the
highest known frequency of recorded shipwrecks for this sanctuary.
Part 1 - Monterey
Bay National Marine Sanctuary Data Exercise
your answers on our Answer Page
out the chart of Monterey Bay
National Marine Sanctuary
Go to this
map of the Monterey Bay NMS. Label the following points on your
chart: Point San Pedro, Pigeon Point, Point Ano Nuevo, Point Pinos,
Cypress Point, Point Sur, Pfieffer, and Point Piedras Blancas. Plot
the shipwrecks listed in the data table
by placing a small x at the area on the map where the latitude and
there certain areas within the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary that seem
to be more prone to shipwrecks than others? Can you think of any reasons why this
may be the case?
there certain times of year where there seem to be more shipwrecks reported? Can
you think of any reasons why this might be the case?
many shipwrecks were reported in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary before
1942? How many were reported after 1942? Can you think of any reason for this
2 - Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Questions:
small town suddenly "blossomed in white paint" after a central coast shipwreck?
shipwreck that mistook a red caution light relating to a sewer construction project
on land for a wharf light, causing the vessel to strike an offshore reef.
ship that rounded Cape Horn in the 19th century while on her maiden voyage and
was lost before reaching her final destination.
is a dangerous business. Name the shipwreck that was being salvaged when a vessel
and barge were lost in the operation.
the ship whose SOS distress signal could be received by local residents on their
the shipwreck that used a "breeches buoy" to transport survivors to shore on a
line secured between the shipwreck and land.
Mariners now have modern technology assisting them in navigating the Pacific West
Coast. Would you consider ocean travel? Explain why you are excited about or hesitant
about going to sea.
Check your answers
on our Answer Page