2023 Get Into Your Sanctuary Photo Contest

May 26, 2023 through September 4, 2023


Climate Change and Your National Marine Sanctuaries

A diver swimming next to a coral
From the reefs to Fagatele Bay in the National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa (pictured here) to the Ghost Fleet of Mallows Bay-Potomac River National Marine Sanctuary, climate change impacts the resources found in all of our National Marine Sanctuaries and Marine National Monuments and the ecosystem and cultural services they provide. Photo: David J Ruck/NOAA

A rapidly changing climate brings challenges to our underwater parks in ways we have never seen before. Climate-related impacts, like changing weather patterns and storm events, warming seas, ocean acidification, and sea level rise, are becoming more prevalent around the globe. Changes in climate will affect national marine sanctuaries and the overall health of the ocean, which is vital to our quality of life and, ultimately, our survival. See an infographic on climate change impacts and how marine protected areas can help address them here.

Discover how climate change is affecting our nation’s underwater treasures, what the NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries is doing about it, and how you can help.


two photos show a bleaching event that occurred over three months

National marine sanctuaries are establishing sentinel sites to monitor and study changes in natural and historic resources in these important places.


climate impacts

Learn about the ways climate change is already affecting our ocean, including in our national marine sanctuaries.

Assessment and Adaptation

andrea kealoha and other researchers on a small boat

National marine sanctuaries are taking action to assess and adapt to climate impacts.


screenshot of the ocean acidification website

Resources for educators about climate, our ocean, and national marine sanctuaries.

Frequently Asked Questions About Climate

A gif on the nighttime sea surface temperature


Check out these videos that show how climate change is affecting our underwater parks and how the National Marine Sanctuary System is working to understand and respond to climate impacts.

photo of fish and coral
Coral bleaching in Pacific Islands national marine sanctuaries and monuments
rov footage
Strandings of thousands of pelagic red crabs are correlated with warm water.
diver swimming by big momma coral head
Protecting Big Momma
A split image showing, intense sun, cracked airid land, a hurricane, wildfires and melting ice caps
Managing National Marine Sanctuaries in a Changing Ocean