Greater Farallones

photo of cliffs, waves and ocean

Click on individual links below to learn more about the immediate science needs for critical management issues. For a full list of management issues and science needs, please review the GFNMS Management Plan. To contact us about the science needs described below, contact the Sanctuary Research Coordinators.  

  • Esteros Habitat Characterization

    The Esteros Americano and de San Antonio are both part of the Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary (GFNMS or Sanctuary) and often go unnoticed because private landowners surround them for the most part. A complete characterization of these specialized habitats is needed in order to identify and understand any major or minor management issues and allow us to better incorporate ecosystem-based management for improved water quality, reduction and control of introduced species, detect status and trend of habitats, and identify threatened and endangered species. (Updated 5/1/2010)

  • Invasive Species

    Introduced, invasive species can cause impacts to wildlife and habitats, decrease biodiversity and limit resiliency of wildlife and habitats to recover from anthropogenic impacts and limit effectiveness of restoration actions. It is essential that priority invasive species are located, quantified and removed quickly and effectively. The abundance and diversity of introduced species are not well documented within the Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary (GFNMS or Sanctuary) and northern portion of Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS). A complete inventory of all introduced species is needed as a first step, including mapping of abundance and distribution, in order to detect and remove invasive species. (Updated 5/1/2010)

  • Marine Zone Effectiveness

    Managers need monitoring information that compares the biological, environmental and habitat resources within and outside marine protected/regulatory zones, assesses the natural and anthropogenic factors influencing these resources, and evaluates the natural variation of the local ecosystem in relationship to long-term environmental changes such as global climate change and ocean acidification. (Updated 5/1/2010)

  • Ocean Acidification: Rocky Intertidal Habitats

    Global climate change has caused carbon dioxide (CO2) levels and acidification of the ocean's waters to increase at an alarming rate, posing a serious threat to the health of ocean ecosystems. In order to develop adaptive management actions that will incorporate impacts from ocean acidification to the rocky intertidal habitats of Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary (GFNMS or Sanctuary) and the northern portion of Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS), data from existing long-term monitoring programs must be analyzed with respect to ocean acidification and current research gaps must be filled. (Updated 5/1/2010)

  • Sensitive Seafloor Communities and Threats

    Adequate protection of sensitive benthic resources (wildlife and habitats), such as those communities that occur on rocky reefs and deep-sea corals, requires improved understanding of distribution and community structure of benthic communities. There is a need for completion of multi-beam mapping and video ground-truthing of rocky substrates and in areas of potential deep-sea corals, such as Rittenburg Bank, Fanny Shoals, Farallon Escarpment and Deep Reef. (Updated 5/1/2010)

  • Deep Sea Coral Communities

    Adequate protection of sensitive benthic resources (wildlife and habitats), such as the deep-sea coral communities that occur on rocky reefs, requires improved understanding of distribution and community structure of benthic communities. There is a need to locate, map, and characterize deep-sea corals within the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary (GFNMS or Sanctuary). (Updated 5/1/2010)

  • Human Dimensions/Socioeconomics

    Human activities clearly influence the quantity and quality of Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary (GFNMS or Sanctuary) resources, including water quality, habitat, living resources, and maritime archaeological resources. However, more data on the spatial distribution and intensity of human activities and how those activities change through time are necessary to assess the level of these impacts. In addition, it is important to understand how people benefit or suffer costs from changes in natural and cultural resource conditions to assess ecosystem services provided by the Sanctuary. (Updated 5/15/2014)