California National Marine Sanctuaries Double in Size

By Whitney Reynier

On March 12, 2015, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced the approved expansion of both the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary and the Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary. Both sanctuaries will more than double in size, and together will protect an additional 2,800 square miles of critical marine and coastal waters. These sanctuaries, which are located along the north-central coast of California, harbor incredibly diverse and productive marine and coastal ecosystems that provide habitat for a diversity of species, as well as a variety of ecosystem services. View NOAA’s press release here.

This expansion is particularly timely given the current climate change adaptation project underway in the region. The Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary, in partnership with EcoAdapt and other regional stakeholders, is engaged in a multi-year project aimed at assessing the Sanctuary’s climate change vulnerability and developing climate change adaptation strategies for focal resources. Deemed a “cutting-edge project that all National Marine Sanctuary sites will need to follow” by the National Marine Protected Area Center, the North-Central Coast and Ocean Climate-Smart Adaptation Project is tackling marine and coastal climate change issues in new and exciting ways.

EcoAdapt provided critical support during the Vulnerability Assessment phase of the project, and will continue to play a role in the Adaptation Planning phase with Lara Hansen serving as an adaptation advisor for the Sanctuary’s Adaptation Working group and Whitney Reynier providing technical expertise. Learn more about the project by:

  • Viewing the recent webinar, which gives a project overview, details the results from the vulnerability assessment, and explains the upcoming adaptation planning phase.
  • Visiting EcoAdapt’s Gulf of the Farallones project page.