People connect with national marine sanctuaries in many different ways. For example, a surfer may view a sanctuary as a recreational escape; a fisherman, their livelihood; a vacationing family, part of a tradition; a local, a place for relaxation. To explore this idea further, I set out to hear from those who engage with national marine sanctuaries. My internship with NOAA specifically took me to the five national marine sanctuaries along the West Coast in Washington and California.
At each sanctuary I spoke with fishermen, sanctuary staff, visitors, indigenous people, sanctuary volunteers, and locals to better understand how they feel and identify with the place. Afterwards, I produced an acrylic painting for each sanctuary to summarize and celebrate the species, activities, and emotions mentioned during the conversations. I decided to paint my findings, because art can showcase the ocean’s beauty, as well as capture complex stories, relationships and emotions that are otherwise difficult to express. Here are some overviews of the five sanctuaries I visited. I am still completing some of the paintings. Continue reading →
Underwater photography and advancements in technology have provided us views of life under the ocean surface. Photographers from National Geographic, and the like, have connected us to the ocean and the marine creatures that were once a complete mystery to humans. Although I have been mesmerized by many ocean images, perhaps none have left me in awe quite like the photos of Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary. I found myself lost in the magnificence of the photos — from the bright orange and pink invertebrates to the thousands of rockfish circling in the background. These photos of Cordell Bank, as well as my conversations with those engaging with the sanctuary highlighted the beauty, the productivity, and the mystery there.Continue reading →
I’m starting off my summer internship with NOAA National Marine Sanctuaries and the MPA Center by doing “sense of place” research and art in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.
If you have been whale watching in Monterey Bay, diving off the Channel Islands, surfing north of San Francisco, or tide pooling in northern Washington, chances are, you’ve been to a West Coast national marine sanctuary. National marine sanctuaries are marine protected areas that have iconic natural and cultural marine resources. The network, managed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), includes 600,000 square miles of marine and Great Lake waters. Continue reading →