sp02u2p2 - Unit Two MBNMS Unit II: Monterey Bay National...

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Unit Two MBNMS ©Project Oceanography Spring 2002 48 Unit II: Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS) On the cutting edge… Personnel at the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary are working closely with scientists on several research projects. Some researchers are interested in monitoring ecosystems at the land’s edge or discovering the affects of nutrient upwelling on whale distribution. Other scientists are discovering new worlds in the oceans depths. They are using autonomous underwater vehicles to explore the deep canyons of the sanctuary. These areas contain poorly understood cold seep communities. Some scientists are exploring organisms in the water column where new jellies have been discovered. All of these studies are very exciting as new technology opens the ocean frontiers to new exploration. Introduction to the MBNMS Lesson Objectives: Students will be able to do the following: Identify two distinguishing features of the MBNMS Compare and contrast the MBNMS with the CINMS Explain how indicator organisms are used in monitoring projects Key concepts: sanctuary, biological diversity, interdependence, ecological stability MBNMS Overview Our nation’s largest marine sanctuary is the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS). This sanctuary is located along the central California coast. It includes the waters of Monterey Bay and the adjacent Pacific Ocean waters. This area contains 4024 nautical miles of open ocean water, extending 348 miles north to south and an average 25 nautical miles out from shore. This sanctuary is also our nation’s deepest, with a submarine canyon twice as deep as the Grand Canyon. The deepest point in this canyon is 10,663 feet below the water’s surface. The MBNMS was designated in 1992 because of its rich physical and biological diversity and its important
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Unit Two MBNMS ©Project Oceanography Spring 2002 49 cultural resources. The coastal habitats range from rocky shores and steep bluffs to sandy beaches bordered by cliffs. The underwater landscape includes geologically important features such as the North American Plate and the Pacific Plate. The junction of these two plates is marked by the San Andreas Fault. Cold, nutrient-rich water found in nearshore habitats is delivered to the surface by upwelling from lower depths. This upwelled water supports an abundance of organisms in varied habitats like the kelp forests and fields of sand and mud. The rain of deceased plants and animals falling to the seafloor supports a wealth of benthic fauna in deep canyons and on rock walls. Many types of animals use these diverse environments. Some animals are permanent residents within the sanctuary while others travel through this region on migratory journeys. Marine mammals, seabirds, fish, sea turtles, and a variety of marine invertebrates use this area. Seals and sea lions can be found along the rocky shores. Whales migrate through the ocean
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sp02u2p2 - Unit Two MBNMS Unit II: Monterey Bay National...

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