July 7, 2011
Pacific Grove Marine Gardens, Point Lobos State Marine Reserve, Elkhorn Slough State Marine Conservation Area and even a reserve named for John Steinbeck's pal Ed Ricketts are among the nearly two dozen special protected areas in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.
Anyone can explore these and 1,660 other U.S. marine protected areas (MPAs) with an interactive online mapping tool, recently updated by the National Marine Protected Areas Center and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Special Projects Office.
The original tool, launched last year, allowed users to look at MPA locations, boundaries, protections and restrictions. The update features easier searches, Google maps and more metadata.