Take an extraordinary adventure from the comfort of your home when you immerse yourself in the deep blue oceans of national marine sanctuaries. Whether you’re an experienced diver or complete beginner, thanks to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), you can now take virtual dives of captivating national marine sanctuaries with no equipment needed. Stay dry while enjoying this underwater exploration.

1. American Samoa

A national marine sanctuary located in the depths of the South Pacific Ocean, American Samoa features both underwater and coastal splendors that amaze travelers from around the world. Discover diverse coral reefs when you take a virtual dive of Tafeu Cove or explore The Channel at Rose Attel which encompasses a national wildlife refuge managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. This virtual dive with panoramic views is an adventure to remember. Click here to access this virtual dive.

2. Thunder Bay

The Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary runs adjacent to one of the most dangerous stretches of water within the Great Lakes system. Known as “Shipwreck Alley,” the 4,300 square mile national marine sanctuary displays an immense gallery of nearly 100 shipwrecks, making it one of the best-preserved shipwreck collections in America. Whether it was fire, ice, collision, or storms that brought these sunken ships to their fate, they now reside in the depths of Thunder Bay’s waters. Explore historic shipwrecks and more by clicking here for your virtual dive of Thunder Bay.

3. Olympic Coast

A national marine sanctuary with a rich cultural history, this destination stretches across 3,188 square miles of water off the Olympic Peninsula coastline. Home to a long list of marine mammals and wildlife, on this virtual dive you can swim through a kelp forest threatened by sea urchins, and even see a kelp canopy kaleidoscope featuring beautiful sea stars and cup corals. Take your virtual dive through Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary by clicking here.

4. Florida Keys

The Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary stretches across 2,900 square nautical miles of water from south of Miami westward to the Dry Tortugas. With over 6,000 different species of marine life and the only coral barrier reef in North America, this national marine sanctuary is perfect for diving and snorkeling. Discover it for yourself with this virtual dive by clicking here.

5. Flower Garden Banks

The only National Marine Sanctuary site located in the Gulf of Mexico, the beautiful Flower Garden Banks spans 70 to 115 miles from the coasts of Texas and Louisiana. With incredible underwater mountains called salt domes, and some of the healthiest coral reef in the world, this national marine sanctuary is home to a remarkable ecosystem that is certainly worth exploring. Click here for your virtual dive in Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary.  

6. Gray’s Reef

On this virtual dive you can swim with Loggerhead turtles, schooling fish, and even see barracudas in the distance. Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary, is home to a natural live-bottom reef, thriving with marine life. With over 200 species of fish, this sanctuary offers beautiful views of colorful marine organisms. Click here to access your virtual dive.

7. Stellwagen Bank

Located at the mouth of Massachusetts Bay, Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary is just six miles north of Provincetown and is a well-known whale watching destination for travelers. Home to the renowned Paul Palmer shipwreck, this virtual dive is perfect for seeing the sanctuary’s biodiversity as fish and invertebrates like to settle there. Legend has it that the coal schooner, Paul Palmer, set sail on a Friday the 13th in 1913 when his ship was destroyed by dock fires before it burned and sank off the coast of Cape Cod. Swim around the Paul Palmer shipwreck and see it for yourself by clicking here for your virtual dive.

8. Monterey Bay

Often referred to as “The Serengeti of the Sea,” this national marine sanctuary gives you remarkable views of diverse wildlife from baby shrimp to giant blue whales. Spanning from the central coast of San Francisco to Cambria, Monterey Bay offers visitors a glimpse of marvelous beaches, sparkling tide-pools, and vibrant kelp forests. Take a dive with sea lions and see marine wildlife like strawberry anemones and orange sea cucumbers when you view this virtual tour of Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Click here for your virtual dive.

From the South Pacific Ocean to the depths of the Atlantic, we hope you enjoy exploring these marvelous views of national marine sanctuaries from the comfort of your home. And don’t forget to stay in touch with Liberty Lutheran and our family of services on Facebook!

From our family to yours, click the following links to connect with each member of our Liberty Lutheran family of services on Facebook. Artman, The Manor at York Town, The Hearth at Drexel, Paul’s Run, The Village at Penn State, The Becoming Center, Liberty at Home, LCFS’ West Philadelphia Senior Community Center, and Lutheran Congregational Services

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