Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary (CBNMS) scientists will begin this week the 12th year of sampling the pelagic and nearshore ecosystem as part of Applied California Current Ecosystem Studies (ACCESS), a joint project with Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary and Point Blue Conservation Science. Cordell Marine Sanctuary Foundation has provided funding support for ACCESS for many years and continues to support this important project. On board the sanctuary research vessel Fulmar, scientists will collect data to assess the health of the marine ecosystem and provide information to resource managers, including the abundance and distribution of baleen whales in relation to shipping lanes to inform attempts to reduce vessel strikes to whales. Specifically, they will collect seabird and marine mammal data, oceanographic measurements, and sample for prey availability along predetermined transect lines. The first research mission starts on May 23 and will last 6 days with two more missions planned for July and September. You can follow their progress by clicking here.