Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary
ONMS Sentinel Site, West Coast Region

diver in kelp forest
A scientist dives in a lush kelp forest in Anacapa Island. Credit: NOAA

Through education, conservation, science, and stewardship, Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary (CINMS) provides protection to its natural and cultural resources so that nature can thrive, historic shipwrecks and artifacts remain respectfully in place, cultural connections remain strong, and public use and enjoyment can be sustained. The CINMS spans 1,470 square miles surrounding five of the Channel Islands: San Miguel, Santa Rosa, Santa Cruz, Anacapa and Santa Barbara. Research within Sanctuary waters focuses on understanding the status and trends of marine flora and fauna, the patterns of human use, and the processes that affect them. To address the diverse research needs partnerships have been developed with Federal and state agencies academic institutions, NGOs and a variety of stakeholders.

The CINMS provides opportunities for studying an offshore ecosystem at the convergence of two major biogeographic provinces. It is a place where management and public needs drive research activities. Interested graduate students and principal investigators should contact the Research Coordinator to discuss their research ideas prior to launching a project. CINMS research staff and on-site operational support, including boats, may be available. Research activities may require a permit from the sanctuary.