News Archive


  • Proposed Changes in Regulations for Certain U.S. Coast Guard Discharges

    NOAA solicited public comment on a proposed rule to allow the U.S. Coast Guard to carry out otherwise prohibited vessel sewage, graywater and training-related discharges, seaward of approximately 3 nautical miles from shore, within the areas added to Greater Farallones and Cordell Bank national marine sanctuaries' boundaries when they expanded in 2015. NOAA is proposing these exceptions to the discharge prohibitions in order to address Coast Guard concerns about both complying with the discharge prohibitions in the larger, expanded sanctuaries and continuing to complete its mission requirements.


  • 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.

  • Sanctuary celebrates 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 moves to conserve shipwrecks in two new sanctuaries

    NOAA accepted public comment on proposals to designate Mallows Bay - Potomac River and Wisconsin - Lake Michigan national marine sanctuaries.


  • Beyond the Golden Gate Research Symposium

    In December, presentations were made by researchers studying the extraordinary marine life, oceanography and geology of the central San Francisco Bay, Gulf of the Farallones, Bodega Bay and Cordell Bank regions and adjacent waters between Point Arena and Point Año. Proceedings Available(PDF).

  • White House recognizes sanctuary ocean climate program as part of President Obama's Priority Agenda

    A Resilient Lands and Waters Initiative report and companion website recognize the efforts of seven partnerships to build resilience of natural resources in the U.S.. These partnerships demonstrate the benefits of using existing collaborative, landscape-scale conservation approaches to address climate change and other resource management challenges.

  • Sanctuary Exploration: Shipwrecks, Rocky Banks and Corals

    The Exploration Vessel Nautilus team explored Greater Farallones and northern Monterey Bay national marine sanctuaries from Aug 18-28, 2016. Dives occurred at two shipwrecks, the SS Dorothy Wintermote west of Gualala-Pt. Arena, and the USS Independence west of Half Moon Bay. Working 24/7, expedition scientists conducted exploratory dives and mapped the deep coral reefs in areas west of Point Arena, the Farallon Escarpment and in Pioneer Canyon. Video was streamed live at, and public events were held at the Exploratorium and California Academy of Sciences.

  • Maritime Heritage: Sonoma Coast Doghole Port Project, Aug 1-9, 2016

    The Sonoma Coast Doghole Port Project surveyed the submerged and terrestrial archaeological resources associated with northern California's Redwood Coast lumber trade. The project team from California State Parks and NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries documented visible sites, features, structures, and artifacts to reveal the maritime cultural landscape of the Sonoma coast doghole ports and their role in the region's history. 

  • SANCTUARY DISCOVERY & VIDEO: Wreck of the USS Conestoga

    On March 25, 1921, three years after the end of World War I, the USS Conestoga left Mare Island, California bound for American Samoa. It was never heard from again. For nearly a century, what happened and where the Conestoga and its 56 crew members came to rest remained a mystery. But now, with the discovery of a shipwrecked fleet tug in Greater Farallones sanctuary, we've solved this mystery: the Conestoga sank just three miles off Southeast Farallon Island within a day of leaving port. View the video.

  • Measuring Emissions to Improve Sanctuary Operations

    As part of the sanctuary's mission to reduce its carbon footprint, in 2008 it developed a Green Operations Plan (PDF, 550KB), and began conducting an annual emissions inventory to measure energy, transportation, waste and water use at the sanctuary campus on Crissy Field. Emission reduction targets were included in the Green Operations Plan for the year 2015 and 2020. The sanctuary met its reduction targets for transportation and energy emissions in 2015, but failed to meet its targets for waste and water emissions. Further reductions are targeted for 2020. The sanctuary is prioritizing future actions and facility investments based on 2020 emission targets. See this presentation for more information.

  • PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD CLOSED - U.S. Coast Guard Discharges

    NOAA accepted public comment from April 21 - May 31, 2016 regarding possible changes in regulations for CBNMS and GFNMS to exempt certain USCG discharges. Public scoping meetings were held from May 10-12, 2016. Visit to review the comments.

  • VIDEO: Fisherman in the Classroom

    The Fisherman in the Classroom program invites commercial fishermen from Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary into the classroom to help students understand how they are connected to the ocean

  • New NOAA report highlights economic impact of recreation in North Central California national marine sanctuaries

    Visitors in Greater Farallones and the northern portion of Monterey Bay national marine sanctuaries spent $127 million for non-consumptive recreation activities and supported nearly 1,700 jobs in 2011, according to a new NOAA report (PDF, 4Mb). Non-consumptive recreation activities are those that do not include removal of marine resources. Read more about our socioeconomic program, including reports for recreational and commercial fishing.

  • Coastal Flooding in California

    Californians may see significant coastal flooding more often this winter. With today's rising sea levels, sometimes all it takes is a high tide to cause flooding. When climate and weather come into the mix, floods can become worse and more frequent.


  • Sanctuary Superintendent Statement about Shipping Containers

    According to the U.S. Coast Guard, on December 11, 2015, twelve containers were washed overboard from the M/V MANOA in heavy weather in or around NOAA's Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary (GFNMS). The Coast Guard is broadcasting a safety marine information advisory urging mariners to exercise caution while transiting the area.

  • Shipwreck Ituna discovered

    A sanctuary led exploration team discovered the shipwreck Ituna almost a century after her tragic loss. (Oct 2015)

  • Introducing the Tomales Bay Mooring Program

    The Tomales Bay Mooring Program began its first phase of implementation in Aug. 2015. Learn more about the program, and important information for current mooring owners. (Aug 2015)

  • National Marine Sanctuaries Celebration

    On June 28, 2015 from 11:00am-3:00pm at the Gualala Arts Center for a community celebration. Free and open to the public. Come celebrate your newly protected ocean waters along the Sonoma and Mendocino coast – the expanded Cordell Bank and Farallones national marine sanctuaries.

  • Sanctuaries Expansion & Name Change

    NOAA has expanded the Gulf of the Farallones and Cordell Bank sanctuaries, and changed the name of GFNMS to Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary. (Jun 2015)

  • Ocean Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment

    Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment for the North-central California Coast and Ocean was published in May 2015.

  • "Whale Alert" iPad, iPhone App Available

    Mariners and the public on the U.S. West Coast can now use an iPad and iPhone to help decrease the risk of injury or death to whales from ship strikes. Visit Whale Alert to get the free app.

  • NOAA Re-establishes Sanctuary Nomination Process

    For the first time in two decades, NOAA invites communities across the nation to nominate their most treasured places in our marine and Great Lakes waters for consideration as national marine sanctuaries.