Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary


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Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary

Address:One Bear Valley Rd
Point Reyes Station, CA 94956

Phone:415-663-0314
Fax:415-663-0315
Web: cordellbank.noaa.gov
Location:Rises from the sea floor about 52 miles northwest of the Golden Gate Bridge and at the edge of the continental shelf, just outside of San Francisco, California.
Activities:Whale watching cruises, bird watching, fishing, and nature excursions.
Special Features:Forty-seven species of seabirds have been identified and 26 species of marine mammals have been observed in sanctuary waters. It is one of the most important feeding grounds in the world for the endangered blue and humpback whales, which travel from their breeding areas in Mexico and Central America to feed on the abundant krill and schooling fish that aggregate near the bank. The sanctuary is known as the "albatross capital of the northern hemisphere," as five of the fourteen albatross species have been documented here. Description:Description: The Sanctuary encompasses 526 square miles of Pacific Ocean waters surrounding and including Cordell Bank. The Bank consists of a series of steep-sided ridges and narrow pinnacles resting on a plateau and lies in the middle of the California Current upwelling system, one of five major upwelling areas in the world. The waters depth around most of Cordell Bank is 200 feet, and along a few of its ridges and pinnacles this submerged island rises to within 120 feet of the ocean's surface. Cordell Bank is approximately 9.5 miles long and 4.5 miles wide. Waters are 6,000 feet deep to the west of the bank and about 300-400 feet deep to the east. Common Species: Dall's porpoise, shearwater, and the following engangered species: humpback whale, stellar sea lion, brown pelican, blue whale, and the short-tailed albatross. Environmental Issues: Protecting the upwelling region from commercial and recreational fishing. Habitats: Open ocean, rocky subtidal areas, and soft sediment continental shelf and slope. Access: This Sanctuary is one of the least accessible due to the depth of waters, strong currents, and its distance from the mainland. Access is only available by way of boat.
Year Designated: 1989.

See other parks in California.