Since 1975, NOAA has been creating national marine sanctuaries to preserve natural beauty, famous shipwrecks, and endangered wildlife. There are 13 total marine sanctuaries with one marine national monument. They differ in size from a square quarter mile, to 5,300 square miles. The most notable is Monterey Bay; also known for its famous Monterey Bay Aquarium. These sanctuaries preserve the environment for future generations to enjoy. Endangered species such as various types of whales, sea otters, and many fish use these waters to breed and raise their young. In Virginia, one such site protects the area where the USS Monitor has its famous fight with the Confederate ironclad ship the Virginia during the civil war. These sanctuaries are a great thing for the preservation of nature off shores in America. I hope activists continue to push the creation of such places.