National marine sanctuary offices and visitor centers closed to the public; waters remain open

NOAA's national marine sanctuary offices and visitor centers are currently closed to the public, and in accordance with Executive Order 13991 - Protecting the Federal Workforce and Requiring Mask Wearing, all individuals in NOAA-managed areas are required to follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance on mask-wearing and maintaining social distances. Sanctuary waters remain open for responsible use in accordance with CDC guidance, U.S. Coast Guard requirements, and local regulations. More information on the response from NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries can be found on

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The Santa Barbara Maritime Museum and Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary have joined together to provide the public with an exceptional program exibiting submerged cultural and historic resources located in the sanctuary and park. The museum opened to the public during the summer of 2000.


Winfield Scott Exhibit

Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary’s newest exhibit “Shipwreck of the California Gold Rush Steamship Winfield Scott“ is featured at the museum. The Pacific Mail Steamship Company’s side-wheel passenger steamship Winfield Scott stranded on Anacapa Island in 1853 with over 500 passengers. The exhibit features historic artifacts, documents and first-person passenger accounts that tell compelling stories of survival being marooned on the small island for 8 days. This shipwreck was the final act in a series of shipwrecks that plagued California in 1853 and one of the few shipwreck from the Gold Rush period that was wrecked on its way “down” to Panama.

WInfield Scott Exhibit Explore shipwrecks without getting wet at the museum. The Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary’s “underwater archaeology” exhibit provides visitors the opportunity to visit the shipwreck site of the Winfield Scott and join maritime archaeologists recording the wreck. The exhibit features underwater high-definition video of divers surveying the site and an interactive diorama wreck. Learn the process of how 19th century artifacts go through conservation and discover what tools archaeologist use underwater.

Winfield Scott Exhibit Another museum exhibit features the passenger-cargo steamer Cuba that wrecked in 1923 in the waters that are now part of the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary and Channel Islands National Park. The exhibit features a 6-foot model of the steamer to allow visitors to observe how the ship appeared prior to sinking off San Miguel Island and a corresponding diorama of how the shipwreck appears today underwater. The interactive activity of this exhibit challenges visitors to see if they can identify artifacts covered with over 80 years of marine growth and locate the same artifacts on the model. Several historical artifacts associated with the Cuba are on display.


For more information, contact:
Robert Schwemmer NOAA Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary
University of California Santa Barbara
Ocean Science Education Building



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