What is So Special About Monterey Bay’s Sanctuary?
Monterey Bay is one of the country’s largest marine sanctuaries. It is federally protected as it is very active just offshore of Northern California’s Big Sur. It encompasses a shoreline length of 276 miles and 6,094 square statute miles, while extending an average of 30 miles from shore. Twice the depth of the Grand Canyon, Monterey Bay’s deepest point is just under 13,000 feet. An enormous amount of upwelling carries food and nutrients to all its marine life. It also has one of the most dense kelp forests that provides an ecological community for aquatic animals such as invertebrates and fish. With its great size and depth, continental shelves have created plenty of diverse ecosystems.
The unique sanctuary is often called the “Serengeti of the Sea”. Birds, whales, dolphins, sea lions, sea otters and seals can be spotted along the coast every season. There are over twenty seven species of whales that can be watched ashore or from our vessel. In addition, there are about 180 different species of birds flying all around the bay. Other significant marine animals include the leatherback turtle, black turban snails, ochre sea stars and lined shore crabs. We are so lucky to be able to spot some of these creatures along our ash scatterings. Sea Spirit takes full precaution to remain respectful and keep distance from all species. There is so much that we can do to help take better care of them and the beautiful place that they occupy. The sanctuary is their home just as much as it is ours!
Something as simple as using less plastics and recycling responsibly makes 1% more of a positive impact. Our oceans are becoming more acidic due to an increase of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Shelled animals such as mollusks, clams, lobsters and corals take the biggest hit from this. The sea water actually becomes deprived of necessary nutrients to keep these ecosystems running. Refraining from placing pollutants in the waters and following basic health standards during our memorial services helps to keep the harbor safe. Human ashes are mostly calcium phosphates, which are harmless minerals for the ocean. We continue to push awareness for our oceans’ marine life and everything around them. It is of our best interest to care for our environment as we want to keep the Monterey Bay sanctuary a healthy and happy place for all living creatures.