We protect the wildlife, habitats, and cultural resources of one of the most diverse and bountiful marine environments in the world, an area of 3,295 square miles off the northern and central California coast. The waters within Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary are a nationally significant marine ecosystem, and support an abundance of life, including many threatened and endangered species.
Seasons of the Sea: Upwelling (March - August)
Brisk spring winds churn up cold, nutrient-rich waters from the deep ocean, and sunlight sparks photosynthesis in microscopic sea plants. Tiny animals feed on them, and in turn become food for fish, seabirds, sharks and whales. Seabirds breed in raucous colonies on islands and cliffs, and giant whales move in to feast on fish and krill. The Pacific High pressure system holds storms at bay, sometimes shrouding the coast in fog. This is prime seabird nesting season at the Farallon Islands, and dinnertime for hungry humpbacks and blue whales in surrounding sanctuary waters. Get into your sanctuary!
EVENT: Sea Ranch Forum, Saturday, May 6th, 2017, 3-5pm, Del Mar Center Hall
The Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary has expanded to include the rich ocean waters off the Sonoma/Mendocino coast. Join us in a conversation with Maria Brown, Sanctuary Superintendent, and visually explore the bounty of the sanctuary, learn about sanctuary’s programs in and around The Sea Ranch, and share our vision for the sanctuary at our doorstep.
Tomales Bay Mooring Program
After a two-year community-based, public process to address more than 100 non-compliant moorings in Tomales Bay, 2017 marks the year that all abandoned moorings, docks and vessels were removed from Tomales Bay, including abandoned moorings and docks in eelgrass beds. The Tomales Bay Mooring Program has brought the rest of the moorings into compliance and prohibits the placement of any future moorings in or adjacent to eelgrass. This is expected to result in significant restoration and long-term protection of the eelgrass beds and other sensitive habitats of Tomales Bay, as well as improve water quality and promote safer water-related recreation. Read about the Mooring Program, eelgrass protection and Tomales Bay.
Celebrating Women's History Month
In celebration of Women’s History Month, we want to highlight some of the women who are making history in our sanctuary through education, research, conservation and stewardship programs to ensure our sanctuary is protected and can support an abundance of life for future generations.
NOAA expanded the boundaries of Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary (CBNMS) and Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary (GFNMS) to an area north and west of their old boundaries, and amended and added new regulations in 2015. NOAA also revised the corresponding sanctuary terms of designation and management plans. Read the final documents. GFNMS changed its name to Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary in 2016.
The Greater Farallones Association (GFA) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to protect the Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary habitats and wildlife through the development of a diverse community of informed and active ocean stewards.