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Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS) is one of 13 National Marine Sanctuaries. Its 276 miles of coastline extend from Marin in the north to Cambria in the south. Monterey Bay itself actually represents less than 10% of the 5,000+ square miles of ocean protected by MBNMS.
One of the largest submarine (under water) canyons off the CA coast lies largely within MBNMS boundaries. This canyon produces a water depth of about 3,000 feet at the entrance to Monterey Bay - even though most of the bay is about 300 - 400 feet deep.
National Marine Sanctuaries are environments where society as a whole (government / business / academics / etc) work together to understand how to best use & protect resources - both today and in the future. Additionally, science uses data collected here to better understand things such as global warming patterns, effects of thermal plumes from coastal power plants, etc...on marine life and water quality.