Just offshore of Northern California lies an underwater national park called the Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary. The Sanctuary is cared for and protected by NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The Greater Farallones Association supports the efforts of NOAA and the Sanctuary with citizen science programs, education for kids, and funding for noted researchers.

The Sanctuary

The upwelling of a unique and powerful current within the Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary is responsible for creating one of the most spectacular & bio-diverse marine ecosystems on the planet. It is home to one of the largest feeding grounds for white sharks, 29 species of whales and dolphins, over 390 species of fish, and over 330 species of invertebrates – deep sea corals, sponges, shrimp, crab and other mollusks and crustaceans and much more.


Our Programs

Beach Watch: Our citizen scientist programs for adults. Learn more!

LiMPETS: We teach and train middle school kids and teens to study something of supreme importance in their world and to instill a love of something that they’ll grow up wanting to protect. Learn more!

Ocean Climate Change Program: Data collected by our citizen scientists is combined with the Sanctuary’s data to help form predictive models of climate change impact along our coasts and in the Sanctuary.

Shark Stewardship: We help train naturalists, whale watching companies and research organizations to study and raise the awareness around the vital role that great white sharks play in the Sanctuary’s ecosystem.

Youth Education: We offer a wide array of exciting and engaging learning experiences, including tidepooling, kayaking, lectures, field excursions, workshops, classes, exhibits and more.

Bolinas Lagoon Restoration: This project will ensure the long-term ecosystem health of this internationally recognized estuary through implementation of projects that address historical human-induced impacts, reestablish natural processes, and adapt to future climate change issues.

Visitor Center: Offers hands-on activities that create an intimate experience with our marine world, which promotes understanding, while underscoring the importance of our protected marine sanctuaries.

Marine Debris: Greater Farallones Association trains citizen scientists to collect data to inform efforts focused on identifying, removing, reducing and preventing debris in the marine environment.

Maritime CSI: We use science and technology to track and mitigate oil spills and other pollution from active vessels as well as shipwrecks lying on the Sanctuary’s floor.


The GFA funds programs that train citizen scientist volunteers that work with Sanctuary biologists to maintain the health of the Sanctuary and combat the impacts of ocean climate change. Our programs provide 10,000 volunteer hours in the field each year, and our citizen scientists provide critical data and research that help ensure our ocean waters are pristine and the ocean wildlife are thriving.


Support Us

Donate Money Here

Attend an event:

  • Family program
  • Sanctuary Exploration
  • GFA Whale Watch
  • Other future events

Call or email to learn more!