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, restoring critical habitat, addressing climate change, 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 & biodiverse 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

Citizen Science:

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!

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

Climate Change: 

Ocean Climate Change Program: Data collected by our citizen scientists is combined with the Sanctuary’s data to address climate change impacts along our coasts and in the Sanctuary. Learn more!

Resource Protection:

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. Learn more!

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.

Seabird Protection Network: We work to reduce human disturbances to seabirds and other marine life. Learn more!

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. Learn more!


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

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. Our Visitor Center is open Wednesday – Sunday from 10 AM – 4 PM.  Learn more about our Visitor Center programs!


The GFA funds programs that train citizen scientist volunteers that work with Sanctuary biologists to maintain the health of the Sanctuary, restore significant habitat, 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

Get Involved

Visitor Center:

Come enjoy a stunning view of the Golden Gate Bridge at the Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary Visitor Center open Wednesday – Sunday 10 am – 4 pm! The center offers hands-on activities that create an intimate experience with our marine world, as well as access to a sandy beach and green space that’s perfect for a sunny day trip.

 Volunteer Opportunities: Call or email to learn more!

Beach Watch
Marine Debris
Sanctuary Advisory Council
Kent Island Restoration Project
Visitor Center
Board Member