Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary (NOAA)
Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary has a total area of 3,188 square miles - it's kind of hard to miss. But your first stop should be The Olympic Coast Discovery Center, on the Port Angeles waterfront. It's a great place to begin your learning adventures on the Olympic Coast.
At the Discovery Center we can help you plan your coastal activities.
Plan your trip to Neah Bay, La Push, Kalaloch or other coastal destinations. Trained Discovery Center staff and dedicated volunteers will provide detailed information on where to hike, where to see whales, the best views or secluded beaches. You'll get road distances and driving times, and tips for getting the most out of your visit.
Find out what makes National Marine Sanctuaries so important in our efforts to protect the oceans, marine ecosystems and marine wildlife. And because each National Marine Sanctuary is a unique world of its own, you'll discover why the Olympic Coast is so important. You'll meet its marine mammals, seabirds and its habitats, including tidepools and deep sea canyons.
Science and Exploration
In order to protect, we must understand. Ocean scientists are at the cutting edge of technology, developing tools that let us visit the ocean floor and understand the sea's mysterious workings. Learn about this history of exploration of the Olympic Coast and the many tools that researchers use to understand the underwater landscapes, living communities and ocean processes that make Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary the ecological treasure it is. Learn about deep sea corals, submersibles, and our sister sanctuaries within the National Marine Sanctuary system.
From time immemorial, people have formed deep bonds with the ocean. Whether it's a first encounter with a tide pool or the experience of many generations, the Olympic Coast has shaped its communities' identities, cultures, and livelihoods. Before there was written history, Native Americans thrived on the ocean's bounty. Today, fishing, transportation and recreation are keystones to the region's wealth. Discover what it means to have an Olympic Coast way of life.
FREE OF CHARGE!
Olympic Coast Discovery Center is open daily 10:00 am - 5:00 pm from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Olympic Coast Discovery Center will remain open on weekends only (Sat+Sun) 10:00 am - 5:00 pm in September through mid-October. Feel free to drop in, no appointment is necessary during our open season! To schedule a tour in the off-season, please make an appointment in advance: call 360-406-2092 or email Chris Butler-Minor.