Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary


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Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary

Address:Fort Mason, Bldg 201
San Francisco, CA 94123

Phone:415-561-6622
Fax:415-561-6616
Web: farallones.noaa.gov
Location:North and west of San Francisco Bay in California, including offshore marine regions of the Gulf of the Farallones and the nearshore waters of Bodega Bay, Tomales Bay, Estero de San Antonio, Estero Americano, and Bolinas Lagoon. Part of the United Nations' Golden Gate Biosphere Reserve.
Activities:Kayaking, boating, surfing, bird-watching, sportfishing, and whale watching.
Special Features:Thirty-three species of marine mammals have been observed in the Sanctuary and one fifth of California's harbor seals breed there. Home to 27 endangered or threatened species. Annually, on the Farallon Islands alone, there are nearly 400,000 breeding seabirds and 10,000 seals and sea lions. Description:Description: The Sanctuary encompasses 1,255 square miles and is comprised of open ocean, near shore tidal flats, rocky intertidal areas, wetlands, subtidal reefs, and coastal beaches. Boundaries include the coastline up to mean high tide. Thirty miles west of the Golden Gate Bridge are the Farallon Islands, a national wildlife refuge that offers protection and breeding sites for seabirds and marine mammals. The Sanctuary sea floor slopes gently for almost 35 miles, which makes it the widest continental shelf along the California coast, and then drops-off just beyond the Farallon Islands. Facilities:A citizens' group, The Farallones Marine Sanctuary Association, maintains visitors' centers in San Francisco and Pacifica. They also sponsor sanctuary displays in Point Reyes and Sausalito. Common Species: California gray whale, humpback whale, blue whale, Stellar sea lion, white shark, ashy storm-petral, rockfish, and abalone. Environmental Issues: Sewage, pesticides, increased recreational use, fishing, the release of toxic materials, and the possibility of oil spills. Habitats: Deep ocean, estuaries, rocky intertidal zones, and sandy beaches. Access: Many local parks, as well as Tomales Bay State Park, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, and Point Reyes National Seashore, provide easy access to sanctuary waters.
Year Designated: 1981.

See other parks in California.