The Staff of the Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary (CBNMS) completed a highly successful research mission using a remotely-operated vehicle (ROV) August 18-25, 2014. The team visited the main feature of the sanctuary, Cordell Bank, to conduct a characterization of the invertebrate community on the shallowest parts of the bank using the sanctuary-owned Phantom ROV and R/V Fulmar. In seven days of field operations, the team completed 17 transects, collected over 2000 still images, and nearly 20 hours of video. The data collected will be analyzed this fall by CBNMS and used to characterize the sanctuary and provide information for monitoring. The operation benefited from a little luck with the late summer weather and from the expertise of the R/V Fulmar crew members. CBNMS plans to continue ROV operations on Cordell Bank in 2015 but next up is a survey of the proposed expansion areas of Cordell Bank and Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuaries September 2-7, 2014. In partnership with National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science, CBNMS and GFNMS will explore areas near Bodega Canyon and at a feature called “the football” September 2-7.
More than 3,000 underwater color photographs (35mm transparencies) of Cordell Bank taken between 1977 and 1986 by SCUBA divers from the independent research group Cordell Expeditions were donated to the California Academy of Sciences (CAS) in San Francisco. The photographs complement the collection of biological specimens collected by Cordell Expeditions that have been curated at CAS. California Academy of Sciences research staff has digitally scanned all of the images and posted over 350 images online through CalPhotos.
During the first half of 2014, NOAA collected comments on the Proposed Expansion of the Cordell Bank and Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary. This proposed expansion area is north of the existing sanctuaries, and extends from Sonoma County’s Bodega Bay to Mendocino County’s Alder Creek. Learn more about the expansion.