Assessment and Adaptation

andrea kealoha and other researchers on a small boat
Post-hurricane monitoring is a collaborative effort. In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, Dr. Nancy Foster Scholar Andrea Kealoha and her colleagues at Texas A&M University have assisted with monitoring efforts in the Gulf of Mexico, including Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary. Kealoha and other researchers have been collecting water samples in the Gulf and will analyze them to see what impact the hurricane has had on ocean conditions. Photo: A. Kealoha

The National Marine Sanctuary System is taking important steps to understand the resources and habitats most likely to be affected by climate change. With this information, we can adapt management plans to reflect new challenges and prioritize actions to protect vulnerable resources.

Climate assessment and adaptation in the National Marine Sanctuary System:

Regional and system-wide

American Samoa

Channel Islands

Cordell Bank

Florida Keys

Flower Garden Banks

Gray’s Reef

Greater Farallones

Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale

Mallows Bay-Potomac River

Monterey Bay


Olympic Coast


Stellwagen Bank

Thunder Bay

Practicing energy efficiency

real time solar system
ONMS visitor centers and facilities in Florida, California, and Hawai‘i are augmenting their electricity needs with the installation of photovoltaic solar arrays. Shown here is the kW of energy currently being generated by the solar array on the roof of the Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center.

Sites throughout the National Marine Sanctuary System are reducing the environmental footprint of our offices and facilities, and working to ensure that our day-to-day operations are conducted in the most environmentally-sound manner possible. Our efforts reduce both carbon dioxide emissions and our operating costs. Carbon dioxide emissions are the leading cause of climate change. Our sanctuaries are:

  • Working with the Department of Energy to retrofit our buildings to greatly increase their energy efficiency.
  • Widely adopting green practices such as using hybrid cars, organizing webinars instead of face-to-face meetings, reducing energy use, and conducting rigorous recycling programs at facilities.
  • Converting some of our vessels to bio-based lubricants, hydraulic fluids, and cleaners.
  • Using geothermal heating and cooling at Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary’s buildings.
  • Using solar energy at visitors centers and facilities in Florida, California, and Hawai‘i.