Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary includes 3,188 square miles of marine waters off the rugged Olympic Peninsula coastline. The sanctuary extends 25 to 50 miles seaward, covering much of the continental shelf and several major submarine canyons. The sanctuary protects a productive upwelling zone - home to marine mammals and seabirds. Along its shores are thriving kelp and intertidal communities, teeming with fishes and other sea life. In the darkness of the seafloor, scattered communities of deep sea coral and sponges form habitats for fish and other important marine wildlife.
In addition to important ecological resources, the sanctuary has a rich cultural and historical legacy. Over two hundred shipwrecks are documented here. In addition, the vibrant contemporary communities of the Makah Tribe, Quileute Tribe, Hoh Tribe, and Quinault Nation have forged inseparable ties to the ocean environment, maintaining traditions of the past while they navigate the challenges of the present.