Ocean films for ocean inspiration. #ilovemysanctuary with @oceanfilmfest and @GFNMS

filmfest poster

Get into your Sanctuary with us at the Arena Theater Saturday August 4th 4-6 pm to watch film shorts fromthe International Ocean Film Festival! See you there!

wall of photos of cordell bank

Offshore Cordell Bank NMS is hard to "Get into" but you can view it through photography this month at the Rockridge Library in Oakland! We "Get into our sanctuary" by bringing it to you on land (its easier!)

photo of the ocean exploration center space

You can overlook not just one, but two sanctuaries at the Point Reyes National Seashore Lighthouse

seabird flying over the water

Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary is a pelagic seabirder's dream! If you go, take some pics and share via the Get Into Your Sanctuary Photo Contest! We want to see them too! credit: Rudy Wallen/ONMS/PointBlue

flock of Arctic terns flying over the water

Arctic terns pass through Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary far offshore and "dip" in to feed on fish near the surface. These birds get several awards for their stamina! Breeding in the Arctic and spending non breeding time in the Antarctic. They pretty much follow the light and with a lifespan of 15-30 years, they may fly over 2 million miles in their lifetime! Photo: NOAA/Annie Douglas

Black-footed albatross on the water with its beak open

Yawn, its Monday, but its Birdweek! Seabirds flock to Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary from all around the Pacific seasonally. Black-footed albatross spend time between the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument and West Coast national marine sanctuaries offering some protections at their breeding and highly used feeding waters. Credit: NOAA/ONMS/RWallen

coral reef

Even the corals remembered our birthday! May 24th, 2018 marks 29 years of sanctuary protections!

happy anniversary cordell bank national marine sanctuary

Thanks to the intrepid explorers diving through harsh conditions in shipping lanes, through fog, wind, high seas and no shore in sight and their efforts to discover and learn about Cordell Bank, we are celebrating 29 years of protections at this spectacular place! Just out of reach for most humans, just in the right place for the finned, feathered, squishy and hard creatures that love it as much as we do. Photo: Clinton Bauder/BAUE


Black-footed Albatross soar through the sanctuary. Credit: NOAA/CBNMS/Jamie Hall


Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary staff take a #safeplaceselfie to practice visiting the safe place to go to during an earthquake. Credit: NOAA/CBNMS/JStock

people on a boat making observations

Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary works with partners to monitor the sanctuary environment. Studying presence of mammals, seabirds, pinnipeds, prey, water conditions including temperature, salinity, and ocean acidification


With 3 hearts and 8 arms, Octopi were built for Valentine's Day!


"We could fill volumes of our life experiences of what we've done, and we've all lived fairly adventurous lives. But for me Cordell Bank was the highlight of it all." -Dave Cassotta-Cordell Expedition Diver

bank covered in invertebrates and fish swimming above

Cordell Bank is covered in diverse invertebrates, get to know what lives on the Bank by using this ID guide to explore.

collage of photos from 2017

In 2017, Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary explored, educated and worked with partners and collaborators to accomplish resource protection for this unique biodiverse hotspot off the Marin/Sonoma Coast. Hello 2018, we are ready for you and look forward to continuing to engage communities and collaborators to best protect this incredible place! Photo credits: OET/Nautilus/ONMS, CBNMS/JStock, NOAA/ONMS/Point Blue/RWallen and DDevlin

Cordell Bank upper reefs covered with invertebrates

In 2017, Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary continued its benthic monitoring objectives by using its remotely operated vehicle to revisit study sites in the sanctuary. This "high spot" is plentiful in colorful California hydrocoral and other encrusting invertebrates. Credit: NOAA/CBNMS

Side-scan sonar of cordell bank

The seafloor is diverse with mountains, ridges, valleys, peaks and abyssal plains! Credit: USGS

Black-sea coral

While some corals thrive in the shallower parts of the sanctuary, the deeper parts of the sanctuary are thriving with deep sea corals as well. Black-sea coral are attached to hard substrate features and catch floating "marine snow" that drifts from surface waters to the seafloor. Credit: OET/Nautilus/ONMS

feathery crinoids

In 2017, Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary continued its benthic monitoring efforts to best monitor the underwater life. This photo shows feathery crinoids which catch plankton in their feathery appendages and orange cup corals. Credit: NOAA/CBNMS

orange cup corals

Cordell Bank supports a wide diversity of invertebrate life such as these orange cup corals. Credit:NOAA/CBNMS


Cordell Bank hosts a wide diversity of rockfish species. Credit: NOAA/CBNMS/D.Roberts

kid looking at a sanctuary sign

Coastal visitors may not realize they are enjoying a National Marine Sanctuary as they gaze on the blue, we have signs in iconic locations to help inform visitors about the national significance of these ocean waters. Credit: NOAA/CBNMS/JStock