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Since its establishment in March 1994, the Advisory Council has played a vital role in the decisions affecting the Sanctuary along the central California Coast. The advisory council’s twenty voting members represent a variety of local user groups, the general public, and eight local, state and federal governmental jurisdictions. In addition, the respective managers for California National Marine Sanctuaries (Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary, Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary, Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary, and Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary), National Marine Fisheries Service, Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve and United States Coast Guard sit as non-voting members. Members are appointed competitively by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Candidates selected for these seats should expect to serve until June 2023.

Advisory council representatives are expected to attend full advisory council meetings held every other month in full-day open sessions located at various locations along the Sanctuary’s 276-mile shoreline. Individual members may also participate in working groups, subcommittees, or special taskforces.

The White House has requested that Executive Branch Agencies adopt additional vetting responsibilities for boards, commissions, advisory committees, and related entities. Specifically, if an individual candidate has been a federally registered lobbyist in the two-year period before their appointment date, they may not be a member of a board, commission, or advisory committee.

Seats Currently Being Recruited

Seat Primary Alternate
College yes no


National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council Application & Guidelines   PDF
MBNMS General Requirements for Advisory Council Representatives HTML PDF
MBNMS Specific Requirements for Advisory Council Representatives HTML PDF
MBNMS Sanctuary Advisory Council Charter & Protocols HTML PDF


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The Importance of Diversity

Whether within a natural ecosystem or a human community, diversity creates strength and resilience. NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries values the remarkable diversity of knowledge, perspectives, and experience found throughout sanctuary communities, and invites a wide range of individuals to seek membership on our sanctuary advisory councils. With a diverse membership, advisory councils can broaden access to understanding and participation in marine conservation and governance, foster innovation and creative problem solving, and can help advance the mission of the National Marine Sanctuary System.

"National marine sanctuaries are dedicated to the conservation, protection, and enhancement of America’s marine and cultural legacy," said John Armor, director of the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries. "They are also places where people from diverse backgrounds can find common ground and discuss possible solutions to critical challenges facing the ocean. We welcome and value the wide range of perspectives and expertise that advisory council members bring to the national marine sanctuary system."