This unique aquarium allows visitors to experience the numerous habitats that are within The Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS)
The Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS) is a protected marine area along the central California coast, ranging from Marin County to Cambria. It covers a shoreline of 444 kilometres in length, and over 13727 square kilometres of ocean.
The MBNMS extends approximately 48 kilometres from the coastline and it reaches to a depth of over 3240 metres (more than two miles).
Monterey is perhaps best known for Steinbeck and his novel Cannery Row.
However, Steinbeck's world has long since gone, along with the sardines, to be replaced by outrageous consumerism, blatantly using his name in the pursuit of profit. In his later life, Steinbeck made reference to the changes in and around Cannery Row, by stating that that "They fish for tourists now..."
One exception to all this is the presence of Monterey's Aquarium, which allows visitors to experience many of the wonders of the National Marin Sanctuary.
The aquarium is divided into a number of habitats, all of which exist in and around the National Marine Sactuary. These habitats which are represented at the aquarium include....
1. Kelp forests
2. Reefs and Pilings
3. Sandy Seafloor
4. Estuaries ans Sloughs
5. Rock Shores
6. Beaches and Dunes
7. Open Waters
Giant kelp grows along the the coast near reefs, forming vast groves and provide a unique habitat for animals and plants.
On sandy ocean floors the creatures either have to dig to create a home or move on. Many plants cannot take root here with the exception of anemones which have long tubes deep achored deep into the sand. Flatfishes also are able to shelter here and are camouflaged easily.
The aquarium provides educational programmes, with an emphasis on the conservation of the unique environment that exists within the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.