Maria Brown Named Superintendent of Cordell Bank and Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuaries
NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries announced the appointment of Maria Brown as superintendent of both Cordell Bank and Greater Farallones national marine sanctuaries. Maria has been superintendent of Greater Farallones sanctuary since 2004, and has assumed superintendent duties for Cordell Bank upon the retirement of former superintendent, Dan Howard.
Maria is a San Francisco Bay Area native who grew up exploring the coast and shares her love of the ocean with her husband and two boys. As superintendent, she oversees management of the sanctuaries with a focus on climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies in marine protected areas. She guides local restoration efforts of critical estuarine habitats, seabird colonies, coastal shorelines, and kelp forests. Maria is involved in response to oil spills and vessel groundings; engaging community scientists as well as local, state, and federal agency partners; and is collaborating with Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary to reduce ship strikes to endangered and threatened whales.
Dan, a Fairfax resident, began his career with NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries in 1995; and was superintendent of Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary from 2002–2021. During his tenure as superintendent, Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary established long term monitoring programs, created educational exhibits and programs, engaged with communities through the Sanctuary Advisory Council, and worked with sanctuaries throughout the West Coast region to maximize resource protection efforts. Prior to working with the sanctuary system, Dan was a biologist with NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service.
Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary encompasses 3,295 square miles of marine waters off the northern and central California coast. It supports an abundance of life, including many threatened and endangered species. The offshore 1,286 square mile Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary protects soft seafloor habitat, a rocky bank, deep sea canyons, and diverse communities of wildlife.
Both are part of America's National Marine Sanctuary System, a network of underwater parks encompassing more than 620,000 square miles of marine and Great Lakes waters. The network includes a system of 15 national marine sanctuaries and Papahānaumokuākea and Rose Atoll marine national monuments. The National Marine Sanctuary System is celebrating their 50 year anniversary in 2022.