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A family poses for a photo

Enjoy these fun memories from our Get Into Your Sanctuary summer fun day in Aunu`u! We enjoyed guided hikes, a scavenger hunt, weaving demonstrations, delicious food, and a surprise visit from two pods of humpback whales!

📷 Did you take photos? The annual GIYS photo contest is still open, so make sure to submit your best photos for a chance to be featured on the Earth is Blue magazine!

Special thank you to the Aunu`u village council and community members for sharing your special place with us.

A group gathered to watch the nautilus live broadcast

SHIP-TO-SHORE! 🛳 Talofa lava to Dr. Ballard and the Nautilus Live team, from the NOAA National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa! We enjoyed the live telepresence interaction, learning about deep-sea science, and the Q&A session from the crowd!

A pavilion set up for a get into your snactuary event

Get Into Your Sanctuary weekend is here! Join us for a Sanctuary Summer Fun Day in Aunu`u on Saturday, August 3rd. Come out and enjoy the outdoors with friends and family. Hop on a water taxi from Auasi to Aunu’u ($4 round trip per person) and once on Aunu’u, you have the choice of joining a hiking tour in/around the beauty of this island with local tour guides, or you can visit the food booths featuring delicacies special to Aunu`u, learn how to weave, and/or take some pics to remember your experience in the onsite photo station. A completed scavenger hunt during the hiking tour will earn you a free t-shirt! To register for events, please contact the Tauese P.F. Sunia Ocean Center at +1(684) 633-6500.

A Jellyfish

Explore American Samoa's only volcanically active seamount, Vailulu`u, with Nautilus Live and the National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa! The ROVs have just begun their descent into the crater... watch it live online at

Please join us tomorrow for our final telepresence event at the Tauese P.F. Sunia Ocean Center from 9:00am-11:00am! Learn about the research ship and meet the crew, including famous oceanographer, Dr. Robert Ballard! (Photo: OET/Nautilus)

View from the E/V Nautilus at night

Another update from our team at sea. Currently off the coast of the Manu’a islands monitoring the wind and swells for an ROV dive today to continue deep sea exploration!

Thanks to everyone who participated in the live telepresence interactions with us! Please join us for another telepresence interaction with us and Nautilus Live next week Thursday, August 1st at the Tauese P.F. Sunia Ocean Center from 9am-11am!

The E/V Nautilus approaching Swains Island

Day 2 of the Nautilus research cruise in National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa. After a full day of sailing, we are now off the coast of Swains island in the national marine sanctuary management area, and are currently conducting the first deep-sea dive using ROVs Hercules and Argus at depths up to 2500 meters. Our science team is working with the Nautilus crew to characterize benthic species at these likely never before seen areas, conduct transect surveys, and photo-mosaic 3D imaging. The first dive is expected to take approximately 24 hours.

People on a ship

Talofa from the American Samoa team aboard the E/VNautilus! We departed early this morning and are headed for Swains Island as the first national marine sanctuary dive site! Check out the live stream on Nautilus Live’s website

A group of people standing in front of the E/V Nautilus

Last week's ship tours of the Ocean Exploration Trust's E/V Nautilus here in American Samoa!

ICYMI - JOIN US on the NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries' page on Sunday, July 21 at 12:30pm (AS Time) because we will be broadcasting LIVE to give you a virtual tour of the ship, introduce some of the scientists and crew on the ship, and talk about our upcoming deep-sea expedition!

A sea star

Oh my stars! ⭐️ We're so excited to be partnering with the Ocean Exploration Trust's E/V Nautilus for a deep-sea expedition right here in your National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa!

Tune in LIVE on the NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries page on Sunday, July 21 at 12:30 PM (AS time) to get a behind the scenes virtual ship tour, meet the scientists and crew, and learn about the American Samoa expedition goals and objectives! (Photo credit: NOAA/Okeanos)

Clear water leading up to a beach

Can you guess where this is in American Samoa? Here's a hint, it's one of our beautiful marine sanctuaries! 😉 Happy Clean Beaches Week! 🏝 Don't forget to submit your photos of sanctuary life, views, and recreation to our Get Into Your Sanctuary photo contest! 📷 (Photo credit: Isabel Halatuituia/NOAA)

A girl swimming

Swim into your sanctuary! 💦 What's your favorite way to get into your sanctuary?

📣 Calling all photographers! 📷 Submit your favorite photos from your last visit to NOAA National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa for a chance to be featured in the Earth Is Blue Magazine! Photo contest details (Photo credit: NMSAS/NOAA)

A father walks down a path with his family

"A tausi tamā le si`osi`omaga, e tausi fo`i tamaiti le siosiomaga." When fathers take care of the environment, children will take care of the environment. Manuia le Aso Sā o Tamā (Happy Father's Day!) (Photo credit: NMSAS/NOAA)

A boy holds up freshly caught fish

Get into your sanctuary like Joseph Umu in Aunu`u! American Samoa is blessed to have six beautiful and unique marine sanctuaries across our islands, so find your sanctuary and get into it!

Send us your best photos in any of these categories--sanctuary life, views, and recreation--for a chance to be featured in the Earth Is Blue Magazine! Photo contest details (Photo credit: NMSAS/NOAA)

A sea turtle swims in crystal clear water

What kind of photos do turtles take? Shell-fies! Happy Sea Turtle Week 🐢 and have a turtley awesome day! (Photo: Wendy Cover/NOAA)

People standing on a beach

Talofa from Manu`a! We hosted our annual Sanctuary Summer Science in the Village program in Ta`u to engage and connect our youth to their unique sanctuary village! (Photo credit: NMSAS/NOAA)

Dolphins swimming

National marine sanctuaries are like underwater parks, so get out there and enjoy all that nature has to offer! And don't forget that you can enter our annual photo contest now through September 2nd, and you could be featured in the next Earth Is Blue Magazine! (Photo:NOAA)

Fagatele Bay

Fagatele Bay... more like Fagatele Bae!
We're all connected by one big ocean, and no matter where you are in the world, the ocean affects all our lives in big and little ways. Happy World Oceans Day, from our marine sanctuaries to yours. (Photo: Nerelle Que/NOAA)

A sea turtle in crystal clear water

What kind of photos do turtles take? Shell-fies!
Happy Sea Turtle Week, and have a turtley awesome day! (Photo: Wendy Cover/NOAA)

Dr. Mareike Sudek

Welcome to the office of our Research Scientist, Dr. Mareike Sudek! On this day, Dr. Sudek was conducting tow surveys at Fogama`a/Fagalua and Fagatele Bay to monitor reef health in our sanctuaries. What does your office look like today? (Photo: Nerelle Que)

Children fishing from a rocky shore

"Get Into Your Sanctuary" this summer with family and friends! Snap some photos and enter the annual photo contest for a chance to be featured on the Earth Is Blue Magazine! For photo contest rules and details, visit (Photo: NOAA)

A group of seniors in front of Tauese P.F. Sunia Ocean Center

"Connect. Create. Contribute." is the theme for this year's Older Americans Month. Communities that encourage the contributions of older adults are stronger! By engaging and supporting all community members, we recognize that older adults play a key role in the vitality of our neighborhoods, networks, and lives. (Photo: NMSAS/NOAA)

A life preserver on a boat

Heading out on the water? Make sure you are prepared with safety gear! Being a responsible boater creates endless possibilities - happy National Safe Boating Week! (Photo: Nerelle Que/NOAA)

A yellow buoy with a boat passing in the background

OH BUOY! - A new scientific buoy was launched at Fagatele Bay that measures a variety of parameters in the ocean, such as pH and temperature, which are both very important contributors to the health of our vibrant coral reef ecosystem. This new buoy also complements existing monitoring efforts at National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa. Special thanks to all our project partners: PacIOOS, National Park of American Samoa, Department of Marine & Wildlife Resources, Coral Reef Advisory Group, NOAA Ocean Acidification Program, Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory, Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory, NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program, and Pacific Island Fisheries Science Center. (Photo credit: Nerelle Que/NOAA)