Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary is a unique and pristine location that is worth protecting. One of only 14 National Marine Sanctuaries throughout the United States, Gray's Reef is located 19 miles east and offshore of Sapelo Island, Georgia and covering 22 square miles. National marine sanctuaries are where monitoring and research take place to enhance our understanding of natural and historical resources and how they are changing. They also provide an early warning capability to detect changes to ecosystem processes and conditions.

Marine sanctuaries are located across the country, and thus they offer the opportunity to monitor, observe and investigate the ocean on a local, regional and national scale. Ecosystem resources and their conditions are diverse, offering limitless research and monitoring opportunities. Sanctuaries provide a sense of place that stimulates interest, curiosity and investment about the world and its diverse inhabitants and habitats.

Marine sanctuaries are places where government, academic and citizen scientists work collectively and share information on sanctuary conditions and emerging threats. Work within sentinel sites provides early warning capabilities that give us an advantage over threats by allowing us to respond quickly and efficiently. Thus they are instrumental in helping us achieve our collective goal of protecting the nation’s most cherished ocean treasures.

Gray's Reef is a sentinel site for monitoring the health of our Atlantic ocean ecosystem.

Check the pulse on these topics below:

Climate Change

Fishing Impacts

Heritage Resources

Invasive Species

Marine Debris


Water Quality

Wildlife Health

Alert Notification