Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary
ONMS Sentinel Site, West Coast Region

juvenile rockfish swim over invertebrate covered reef crest
Juvenile rockfish swim over invertebrate covered reef crest. Credit Joe Hoyt / NOAA CBNMS

Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary is an extremely productive marine area off the west coast of United States in northern California, just north of the Gulf of the Farallones. With its southern-most boundary located 42 miles north of San Francisco, the sanctuary is entirely offshore, with the eastern boundary six miles from shore and the western boundary 30 miles offshore. In total, the sanctuary protects an area of 1286 square miles.

Scientific monitoring and research are essential, ongoing activities within the conservation science program at the CBNMS. Through partnerships with state and federal agencies, and academic and research institutions, CBNMS seeks out the broader scientific community to ensure that the most effective and rigorous science can be attained. Our goal is to create sound scientific information available for resource management, monitoring, interpretation, education, planning and policy needs. We encourage projects by university faculty and students, scientists at research institutions, as well as high school students.

The logistics of conducting research at this site can often be challenging, given the distance from shore and rough ocean conditions. The sanctuary may provide coordination and logistical support, vessel support and limited funding for research projects addressing priority needs. A list of priority management issues facing CBNMS and the science and information needed to address these issues is available. Interested graduate students and principal investigators should contact the Research Coordinator to discuss their research ideas prior to launching a project. Research activities may require a permit from the sanctuary.