The Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary is one of the most unique and diverse ecosystems on the planet—it supports life for a vast variety of marine species, is a critical site for deep sea canyon research, and is home to some of the best surf breaks in California.
Despite having its federal protections since 1992—originally implemented to prevent oil extraction—one of the dirtiest, least well-regulated tourism industries is permitted to conduct business in protected waters.
This year alone, 19 cruise ships will drop anchor off the Monterey Wharf, inside the sanctuary, raising concerns by many community members and activists.
In conjunction with a new Santa Cruz Waves
film series, it is our goal to raise funds for an in-depth video production exploring the subject of cruise ships frequenting sanctuary waters, discuss their environmental impacts with leading experts, and learn about the quickly-expanding industry.
Cruise ships have proven to be one of the world’s most questionable tourism industries, with track records worldwide that include intentional garbage and plastic pollution, attempts at cover ups resulting in multi-million dollar fines, horrible impacts on marine life, carbon emissions rivaling that of a 1 million cars, and much more.
On the other side of the coin, cruise ships provide a valuable economic stimulus for the local Monterey business community, where some cruise ship advocates feel that the ships offer an alternative to auto tourism in the region.
Stakeholders and regulators, including The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and some Sanctuary management, state that the cruise ship industry’s operation within Sanctuary waters is very well-regulated, and that an environmental disaster is unlikely. Read their position on Cruise Ships here
Following a major violation in 2003 by the Crystal Harmony
, another cruise ship in 2017 illegally discharged pollutants in the Monterey Bay—the incident was cited as an on-going investigation and kept quiet until a recent FOIA request produced the name of the cruise line and other details. A change.org petition
has garnered more than 18,000 signatures, backing and bolstering the sentiment that these gargantuan, fuel-guzzling ships are questionable visitors to this sensitive marine environment.
With funding, the Santa Cruz Waves film production aims conduct interviews and explore:
-Sonic impacts on marine mammals
-Air contamination due to emissions
-The release of pollution into the ocean
-Examine protections by the National Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS)
Please consider a donation to push the work forward and raise awareness about this important issue. —Santa Cruz Waves
founder, Tyler FoxResourcesRead Santa Cruz Waves coverage last year, Floating Cities Read the SF Chronicle article about cruise ships in the MBNMSRead the Forbes feature on serious health and environmental impacts associated with cruise ships