Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary is a unique wildlife watching destination at any time. The late summer and fall are the best time of the year to head offshore because of the typically better sea conditions and diverse seabird and marine mammal viewing opportunities.

Learn about our ocean education opportunities.

Wildlife Watching

From June until November, humpback and blue whales may be seen in the sanctuary eagerly feeding. Throughout the year, seabirds from near and far feed in these bountiful waters. This attracts birders and whale watchers from around the world, to see species rarely seen so close to shore.


Recreational and commercial fishing occur in the sanctuary. NOAA Fisheries and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife establishes the rules and regulations concerning fishing in this region. Find out more about fishing in the sanctuary.

Visit from Afar - Explore the Sanctuary!

You can dive right into the sanctuary without getting wet - see exhibit locations about Cordell Bank.

Experience the diversity of animals in the Cordell Bank Sanctuary above and below the surface in our video gallery. See the colorful pinnacles of Cordell Bank, what lives on the continental shelf? Since Cordell Bank is too deep for most of us to explore, this is your best bet!

Diving is not recommended at Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary, find out why.