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.
Public Comment - Executive Order
The 30-Day Public Comment Period is open on the review of National Marine Sanctuaries and Marine National Monuments Designated or Expanded since April 28, 2007, in relation to Executive Order (EO) 13795, Section 4(b). Comments must be submitted no later than July 26, 2017
Saturday August 12, 2017, 7:30am-4pm. Join Greater Farallones sanctuary naturalists and the Oceanic Society for a day-long adventure into the waters of the sanctuary. Traveling under the Golden Gate Bridge we will journey 27 miles offshore to the intriguing Farallon Islands and, seas permitting, beyond! In these nutrient-rich waters we will search for humpback and blue whales, seabirds such as the Tufted Puffin and Common Murre, seals, sea lions, jellies and more!
Beach Watch Recruitment - Surveyors Needed!
Join our team! The Greater Farallones Association, in partnership with NOAA’s Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary, needs citizen scientists to help collect data on the condition of our shores along the Sonoma and southern Mendocino coasts. During monthly surveys, Beach Watch volunteers monitor an assigned beach segment to identify, count and photo-document living and dead birds and marine mammals, and record human activity along the coast. This data is used in conservation management of our wildlife, habitats, and ecosystem as a whole. Volunteers must be 18 years of age or older.
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.
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!
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.