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Pacific Hotspots: Overview

The Monterey expedition vessel, the Derek M. Baylis. Credit: OceanaIn the summer of 2011, Oceana led a series of research expeditions using a remotely operated vehicle to explore Important Ecological Areas in Monterey Bay, California, off the southern Oregon coast, and off the Olympic Coast of Washington state.

Important Ecological Areas (IEAs) are ocean hotspots critical to maintaining ecosystem health. IEAs off the West Coast include places like migration routes, sensitive seafloor habitats, breeding and spawning areas, nursery areas for young fish and wildlife, and foraging areas.

High definition video cameras captured never-before-seen seafloor habitats and amazing biological communities supporting Oceana’s efforts to protect key ocean hotspots.

The expedition identified and characterized seafloor habitats in each of the three regions to educate the public about the splendor of ocean habitats, document recently protected habitats, and inform management decisions on existing and future ocean protection efforts.