The sights, sounds, history and natural wonders of California’s coast are highlighted in a new iPhone/iPad application released by the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation (NMSF) and NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries (ONMS).

The National Marine Sanctuaries: Experience California mobile app provides users the ultimate utility in planning their next vacation in and around Monterey Bay, San Francisco and Santa Barbara. Developed by International Mapping, the app features points of interest for more than 600 locations across the Monterey Bay, Gulf of the Farallones, Channel Islands, and Cordell Bank national marine sanctuaries. It covers more than 8,600 square miles of federally protected ocean and coastal waters stretching from Big Sur to the Farallon Islands.

“This app is an innovative way to experience the richness of California’s underwater national parks in the palm of your hand,” said John Frawley, President and CEO of Aquarium of the Bay and The Bay Institute. “Visitors to places, like San Francisco Bay, will be able to learn about our national marine sanctuaries located just offshore. In addition, families, teachers and students will now have another tool to use to nurture the young minds of America’s future marine stewards.”

For each sanctuary, the app provides general information including travel tips, current weather, visitor center locations, hours, and more. The app also features a searchable encyclopedia, glossary and photo galleries that bring the sanctuaries and their habitats to life. Detailed maps allow users to locate sanctuary points of interest, filter them by activity, get directions from their current location, add them to a list of favorites, and share the information on their social networks. Visitors can tag locations on the map with their own photos and comments, as well as share them with other app owners.

“The Experience California app provides users with an all-in-one visitor’s guide to some amazing places in the marine environment that anyone can use to create vacation memories that last a lifetime,” said William Douros, West Coast Regional Director, NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries. “We’re very excited and pleased to present this app to the public.”

“NMSF is proud to release the new Experience California app,” said NMSF president Jason Patlis. “It does more than enhance the sanctuary experience for those in California. It brings California’s national marine sanctuaries to anyone with access to an iPhone or iPad. It’s a teaching tool that has value from coast to coast.”

The National Marine Sanctuaries: Experience California app can be purchased from the Apple App store and downloaded to an iPhone or iPad. Search National Marine Sanctuaries in iTunes.

About NMSF: The National Marine Sanctuary Foundation connects people to the underwater places that define the American ocean. National marine sanctuaries – areas in our ocean and Great Lakes designated for their significance to the nation – comprise 14 sites over 170,000 square miles. NMSF works closely with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to support and strengthen these underwater national treasures.

About ONMS: NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries manages 13 sanctuaries and one marine national monument set aside for their special biological, ecological, cultural, or historical values.


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