Cordell Bank, Gulf of the Farallones, and Monterey Bay sanctuaries are located along the shores of northern and central California and share many of the same resources and issues. Click for a larger map that also shows the Davidson Seamount.
* Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary encompasses 1,360 square kilometers (526 square miles) of ocean off Point Reyes, north of San Francisco.
* The 3,250-square-kilometer (1,255-square-mile) Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary is located west of the San Francisco Bay area.
* Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary stretches along 715 square kilometers (276 miles) of the central coast and encompasses 13,784 square kilometers (5,322 square miles) of coastal and ocean waters. With the addition of the Davidson Seamount, the Monterey Bay sanctuary will encompass 15,791 square kilometers (6,097 square miles).
NOAA has released final revised management plans, regulations, and a joint final environmental impact statement for Cordell Bank, Gulf of the Farallones, and Monterey Bay national marine sanctuaries.
The result of more than seven years of study, planning and extensive public input, these detailed documents are major revisions of the sanctuaries' original management plans and address key issues including ecosystem protection, wildlife disturbance, vessel discharge, water quality, non-native species, and coastal development.
The plans include the expansion of Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary by 1,247 square kilometers (775 square miles) to include the Davidson Seamount, one of the largest known underwater mountains in U.S. coastal waters and home to a wide variety of marine species.
The final plans consist primarily of non-regulatory actions, but some changes to sanctuary regulations clarify and strengthen protections for marine habitats, sensitive species, water quality, and submerged cultural and historical resources.
The management plans also include proposed actions to expand research, education, outreach, and enforcement programs; create and enhance partnerships; integrate environmental monitoring networks; enhance wildlife protections; increase water-quality monitoring; and reduce ocean impacts from coastal development.
The joint final environmental impact statement analyzes the potential environmental and economic impacts from activities and regulations outlined in the three management plans.