Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary (NMS), located north and west of San Francisco Bay, is both an extraordinarily diverse marine habitat and a dynamic hub where research and conservation, tourism and recreation, exploration and learning thrive. In 2015, Greater Farallones expanded to more than double its original size.
The ecosystem supports 36 marine mammal species including one of the most significant white shark populations on the planet. The Sanctuary is also home to blue, gray, and humpback whales; seals and sea lions; dolphins; and more than 250,000 seabirds.
Greater Farallones NMS is an outstanding tourism destination. Visitors’ outdoor recreation choices are endless: whale watching, boating, kayaking, paddleboarding, surfing and boogie boarding, hiking, birdwatching, tidepooling and enjoying the beach. Additionally, there are exploration opportunities, learning programs for all ages, and volunteering.
The sanctuary is also home base for a breadth of conservation science activities, critical research and monitoring studies. Its White Shark Stewardship Project encompasses monitoring, awareness outreach to boaters and the public, naturalist training and school education programs. Its research on deep sea coral and sponge habitats focuses on better understanding of their value as habitats for many species including those important to commercial fisheries. The National Marine Sanctuary Foundation supported the Maritime Heritage Team project to map and survey the estimated 300 historic shipwrecks in the area.
The recent expansion represented years of dedication by the sanctuary, its partners and local community. The Foundation helped advocate on behalf of that effort and, through a Hollings Grant, engage the new sanctuary communities in the expansion.
Related Links :Greater Farallones NMS Website
“We’re proud of the role that Greater Farallones NMS has undertaken, approaching ocean climate change strategically and collegially. We spearheaded the Ocean Climate Program in the North-Central California coast and ocean region through summits and workshops, advocating solutions and actions among agencies, private organizations, and individuals. We’ve been an organizing partner for multiple collaborative projects throughout the Bay Area, designed to build ecosystem resilience and sustainability. This kind of joint initiative will help provide the momentum needed to cope with these globally significant changes.”