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Sanctuaries Banner

sky, water and whale tailThe word sanctuary evokes images of a sacred place, a refuge from the dangers of the world, or a quiet place for reflection and renewal of the spirit.

Perhaps the marine sanctuaries established by NOAA are not sacred places. But as refuges for the diverse animal and plant communities of our coastal oceans and as a place for their human stewards to reflect on nature and renew their spirit, the marine sanctuaries of the United States are without peer.

Come join NOAA and visit our National Marine Sanctuaries, home to unique assemblages of marine flora and fauna and places we humans visit with a sense of wonder and awe at the beauty of our natural world.

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Sanctuaries ~ Albums

image of ocean bottom
Life in the

view of rocky coastline
Renewal through the

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Last Updated:
September 30, 2009