Resource Protection

Protecting the sanctuary's resources is a collaborative process involving local, State and Federal agencies as well as numerous nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). With the help of our partners, the Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary staff focuses on educationpermitting, regulations, and appropriate enforcement, to help protect the sanctuary's resources. In addition the Sanctuary Superintendent meets regularly with the sanctuary advisory council to receive advice and recommendations regarding the protection and management of the sanctuary.

Reducing Ship Strike Impacts on Whales

In June 2011 a consortium of environmental organizations petitioned NOAA to establish a 10-knot speed limit for vessels greater than 65 feet traveling within all California sanctuaries in order to protect whales from vessel strike and other negative impacts. See petition and NOAA's response to the petition

In 2012, a Joint Vessel Strikes and Acoustic Impacts Working Group of Cordell Bank and Gulf of the Farllalones national marine sanctuaries' advisory councils provided recommendations to the advisory councisl on ways to reduce impacts from ship strikes and vessel noise on whales. The Joint Working Group was comprised of multiple agencies, scientists, environmental organizations, and the shipping industry who came to consensus on what steps need to be taken to reduce the potential for vessel impacts to whales. The Joint Working Group's report was unanimously adopted by both advisory councils. The sanctuary superintendents reviewed it for implementation actions.

Download the 2012 report here (3Mb pdf)

For more information on what sanctuaries are doing to reduce ship strike risk to whales click here 

Preparing for Emergency Response During an Oil Spill

The Sanctuary acts as a resource trustee during oil spills or other emergency situations that could potentially impact sanctuary resources. To be better prepared for a spill, in 2011, the sanctuary advisory councils for Gulf of the Farallones and Cordell Bank national marine sanctuaries formed a Joint Vessel Spills and Oil Spill Response Technologies Working Group.

The Joint Working Group included technical members who discussed inter-agency coordination and response, dispersant decision protocols, oil spill trajectory models, response technologies and toxicology. The Joint Working Group provided a report with recommendations to the advisory councils on the use of various oil spill response technologies. The report was unanimously adopted by both advisory councils. The sanctuary superintendents reviewed it for implementation actions.

There is a continuing risk of vessel spills that could impact marine mammals, seabirds, other biota, and cultural resources in and around Cordell Bank and Gulf of the (now "Greater") Farallones national marine sanctuaries. The sanctuaries' staffs are continually working to better understand the resources and their uses in and around the respective sanctuaries.

Download the 2012 report here (1.5Mb pdf)