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NOAA's national marine sanctuary offices and visitor centers are currently closed to the public, and in accordance with Executive Order 13991 - Protecting the Federal Workforce and Requiring Mask Wearing, all individuals in NOAA-managed areas are required to follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance on mask-wearing and maintaining social distances. Sanctuary waters remain open for responsible use in accordance with CDC guidance, U.S. Coast Guard requirements, and local regulations. More information on the response from NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries can be found on

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Research Technical Report

California State Waters Seafloor Mapping Program: Success of a collaborative approach

Kvitek, R.G., G.R. Cochrane, E.J. Saade, G.H. Greene (April 2008)

Poster presentation at the 2008 Sanctuary Currents Symposium, Seaside, CA


In 2006, the state of California initiated the first phase of a comprehensive seafloor mapping program designed to ultimately cover the remaining 9000 km2 of unmapped state waters (3 nm - shore). The purpose of the mapping campaign is to create a high-resolution base map of all seafloor habitats and geological features within the California's 3 nautical mile state waters boundary. Although the impetus for this mapping campaign has been driven largely by the need to support the state's Marine Life Protection Act Initiative (MLPA): aiding in the selection and design of Marine Protected Areas (MPA's) along the Central California Coast, the state-wide base map being created will enable unprecedented seafloor change detection studies required to address a variety of coastal ocean management issues including: Coastal Erosion, Ecosystem Based Management, Earthquake and Tsunami Hazards, Seafloor Debris and Derelict Fishing Gear, and Submerged Archaeological Sites. This collaborative partnership involving industry (Fugro Pelagos Incorporated), university (California State University, Monterey Bay and Moss Landing Marine Labs) and resource agency (U. S. Geological Survey and California Geological Survey) participation has been supported by the California Ocean Protection Council, the State Coastal Conservancy, the California Department of Fish and Game, U.S. Geological Survey, and the NOAA National Marine Sanctuary Program. Here we present the approaches taken and some of the results for the now completed Phase I and II coverage from Ano Nuevo to Point Arena.