November 25, 2020

America’s Marine Sanctuaries

News Source: Smithsonian Magazine

Author(s): Tara Wu

Some of America’s most amazing natural wonders lie beyond the boundaries of its national parks. Beneath the waters within the National Marine Sanctuaries, a whole hidden world is submerged—a submarine realm where deep-sea spires tower, humpback whales glide and all manner of fishes reside. The country’s 14 marine sanctuaries, another of America’s best ideas, hold some of its most incredible marvels and reflect a stunning biodiversity. Created in 1975, the National Marine Sanctuary System protects more than 600,000 square miles of ocean and Great Lakes, spanning from the South Pacific to the North Atlantic.

Now, readers can discover the awe-inducing mysteries of the oceans without leaving home. America’s Marine Sanctuaries: A Photographic Exploration, newly published by Smithsonian Books, takes readers on a comprehensive journey through the nation’s finest in underwater landscapes. Breathtaking images of wildlife and scenery are paired with profiles of each sanctuary location, along with accompanying commentary describing the sanctuary’s contributions to our society as well as tips for practicing stewardship to preserve the area for future generations.

The book details the magnificence of America’s marine sanctuaries, or as Walt Whitman once called it, “the world below the brine.” Each of the sanctuaries— American Samoa, Olympic Coast, Channel Islands, Cordell Bank, Florida Keys, Flower Garden Banks, Gray’s Reef, Greater Farallones, Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale, Mallows Bay-Potomac River, Monitor, Monterey Bay, Stellwagen Bank, and Thunder Bay—holds unique natural treasures. Below, Smithsonian magazine offers a sample of the aquatic havens featured.