Protecting the Incredible Cordell Bank

April 19, 2022

Cordell Bank is an extremely productive marine ecosystem sitting just 50 miles north-west of the San Francisco coastline. The bank emerges from soft sediment at the edge of the continental shelf just before the seafloor slopes over 5,000 feet down, creating ideal conditions for many ocean animals to thrive. Annual upwelling of nutrient-packed deep-sea water supports biodiverse communities of fish and invertebrates along soft seafloors and in deep sea canyons, and food-rich surface waters for whales and birds above. Along with the nearby waters of the Gulf of the Farallones and Monterey Bay, it’s one of the most biodiverse marine ecosystems in the world. 

Recently, Greater Farallones and Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuaries, previously operated under two different superintendents, have come together under the leadership of one superintendent, Maria Brown. The Association is thrilled to now be partnering closely with both sanctuaries to conserve the incredible ecosystems protected within their boundaries—combined nearly 4,600 square miles of ocean and coast off the north-central California coast. Learn more about Cordell Bank and the national marine sanctuary that protects it.