An Ocean of Beauty
The ocean sustains all life on Earth, including our own. It covers 71 percent of our planet, produces more than half of the oxygen we breathe and provides 15 percent of the animal protein we consume. And right off our Aquarium decks is the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary—the largest protected ocean area in the continental United States.
From tide pools and coastal wetlands to kelp forests and a deep submarine canyon, the sanctuary encompasses 6,094 square miles (15,783 km2) of ocean—from waters north of San Francisco to the southern end of the Big Sur coast. A unique combination of geology, weather patterns and currents makes it one of the most productive ocean ecosystems on Earth.