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Cordell Bank

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Within the Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary are rocky subtidal areas, soft sediment continental shelf and slope and open ocean. The tops of Cordell Bank's ridges and pinnacles are covered with sponges, anemones, hydrocorals, hydroids, tunicates, barnacles, crabs, worms, scallops, snails, chitons, and countless other algae and invertebrates. Upwellings from the cold, nutrient rich ocean currents provide a superb feeding ground for many marine mammals and seabirds. Algae and invertebrates proliferate. Endangered humpback whales along with Dall's porpoises, albatross, shearwaters, and countless other marine species flourish in this extraordinarily rich marine environment.

However, few people have seen this special part of the California seafloor due to its depth, currents, and distance from the mainland. The significant value of this marine habitat was officially recognized in 1989 when 526 square miles (397 square nautical miles) of Pacific Ocean including and surrounding Cordell Bank were designated as a national marine sanctuary.

The photo gallery contains images which portray only a small portion of the living and physical resources of the sanctuary. In addition, it portrays some of the major uses of the sanctuary, images of the sustainable seas expedition, and the artwork of children who have visited. For a more detailed description of the marvels of Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary visit the Cordell Bank description on the Marine Sanctuaries section of this site.


The Collection

The Living Sanctuary presents 27 photos depicting marine mammals, fish, birds, turtles,invertebrates, and microscopic organisms. Among these images are sea lions, blue whales, pacific sunfish, rockfish, leatherback turtles, shearwaters, jellyfish, worms, and corals to name just a few.

Habitats presents 8 photos depicting the various marine and nearshore habitats making up the sanctuary. Included in this section you will find computer generated images of seafloor topography and granitic pinnacles with many forms of sea organisms attracted to or attached to these underwater islands.

People and the Sanctuary presents 20 images depicting the many ways that human beings use the sanctuary and its adjacent areas. You will see people recreating, researching, volunteering their time, and learning the important lessons that the sanctuary has to offer.

The Sustainable Seas Expeditions presents 37 images depicting the submersible launches, training, topside activities, and interaction with the general public. These images are from both the Cordell Bank and Gulf of the Farallones expeditions due to the fact that both sanctuaries were explored during the same mission.

The Kids Gallery presents 4 submissions. Please browse the 2 poems and 2 drawings submitted by school aged kids from the San Francisco area.


NOAA logo Revised July 31, 2017 by Sanctuaries Web Group
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