NOAA Expands Two Calfornia National Marine Sanctuaries
Cordell Bank and Gulf of the Farallones national marine sanctuaries off northern California will both more than double in size following a final rule released today by NOAA. The expansion will help to protect the region’s marine and coastal habitats, biological resources and special ecological features.
Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary, located 42 miles north of San Francisco, will expand from 529 square miles to 1,286 square miles. Gulf of the Farallones will expand from 1,282 square miles to 3,295 square miles of ocean and coastal waters.
The expansion is based on years of public comment and research by NOAA and its scientific partners that identified the nutrient-rich upwelling zone originating off Point Arena and flowing south into the original sanctuaries as one of the most productive in North America.
Cordell Bank and Gulf of Farallones national marine sanctuaries represent globally significant, extraordinarily diverse, and productive marine ecosystems that encompass areas as varied as estuarine wetlands, rocky intertidal habitat, open ocean and shallow marine banks. They include areas of major upwelling where nutrients come to the surface and support a vast array of sea life including 25 endangered or threatened species, 36 marine mammal species, including blue, gray and humpback whales, harbor seals, elephant seals, Pacific white-sided dolphins, and one of the southernmost U.S. populations of Steller sea lions; over a quarter million breeding seabirds; and one of the most significant white shark populations on the planet.
Click here to read more about the expansion of these national marine sanctuaries.
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