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Picture of Sonoma County coastline

Proposed Cordell Bank & Gulf of the Farallones Expansion

NOAA is proposing to expand 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 current boundaries, as well as amend existing sanctuary regulations and add new regulations. NOAA is also proposing to revise the corresponding sanctuary terms of designation and management plans.

NOAA considered the comments external linkreceived during the public comment period in order to revise the final GFNMS (PDF, 3MB) and CBNMS (PDF, 2.4MB) management plans, final environmental impact statement (PDF, 14MB), and the upcoming final rule. The environmental impact statement published in the Federal Register on Dec 19, 2014, and will be followed by the final rule no less than 30 days later. The final rule is expected to publish as early as Jan 27, 2015, and it would become effective after a review period of 45-days of continuous session of Congress.

The proposed sanctuary expansions encompass the nutrient rich upwelling zone originating off Point Arena and flowing south into the original sanctuaries. View an animation

Map of Proposed Expansion

Download larger map (PDF, 625KB)

This map shows the proposed expansion of Gulf of the Farallones from approximately 1,282 square miles to approximately 3,295 square miles, and Cordell Bank from approximately 529 square miles to approximately 1,286 square miles. The GFNMS expansion area extends from Bodega Bay in Sonoma County to Manchester Beach, at Latitude 39 North a few miles north of the Point Arena Lighthouse in Mendocino County (excluding Arena Cove and all rivers and estuaries), including both state and federal waters. The CBNMS expansion, all in federal waters, extends west and slightly north of its current boundary to protect important subsea features such as Bodega Canyon.

Zone Maps

Click any map below for more detail. (PDF, 170-300KB)

Base map
Inset 1: Garcia River
Inset 2: Arena Cove
Inset 3: Gualala
Inset 3A: Gualala River
Inset 4: Jenner
Inset 4A: Russian River
Inset 5: Bodega Bay
Inset 6: Point Reyes
Inset 7: Bolinas Lagoon
Inset 8: Farallon Islands

Protection of Maritime Historic and Cultural Resources

Given the existence of historically important ship and aircraft wrecks in the proposed expansion area, and the keen public interest in these resources, it is a priority for the sanctuaries to continue their efforts to inventory and document this maritime heritage. As part of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) compliance process for the proposed expansion, the NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries West Coast Region consulted with the California's State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO), as required under Section 106 Review of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA). This consultation process allowed for a 30-day review process by SHPO and also provided the public with an opportunity to review and comment on the documentation. Read the Section 106 consultation letter (PDF, 779KB) and subsequent findings (PDF, 57KB).

Libraries with documents

Friends of the Coast Community Library
225 Main St.
Point Arena, CA 95468

Mendocino County Main Branch Library
105 N. Main St.
Ukiah, CA 95482

Sonoma County - Santa Rosa Central Library
211 E St.
Santa Rosa, CA 95404

Sonoma County - Guerneville Regional Library
14107 Armstrong Woods Rd.
Guerneville, CA 95446

Sonoma County - Sebastopol Regional Library
7140 Bodega Ave
Sebastopol, CA 95472

Sonoma County - Cloverdale Regional Library
401 N. Cloverdale Blvd
Cloverdale 95425

Sonoma County- Petaluma Regional Library
100 Fairgrounds Drive
Petaluma, CA 94952

U.C. Davis Bodega Marine Laboratory Library
2099 Westside Rd.
Bodega Bay, CA 94923

Marin County - Civic Center Library
3501 Civic Center Drive # 427
San Rafael, CA 94903

Marin County - Point Reyes Library
11431 State Route1
Point Reyes Station, CA 94956 Librarian

San Rafael - Downtown Library
1100 E Street
San Rafael, CA 94901

San Francisco Public Library Main Library
100 Larkin Street
San Francisco, CA 94102-4733


CBNMS - Contact
GFNMS - Contact

Photo by Martin L. Nelson, VideoLab Multimedia

Last Updated on: Thu, January 8, 2015