2019 Expedition

Cordell Bank Biodiversity | Nautilus Live

Greater Farallones and Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuaries

Oct 3, 2019 to Oct 11, 2019 — NA116

This is a joint project visiting two distinct national marine sanctuaries off the coast of California. The region of Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary (GFNMS) and Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary (CBNMS) comprises one of the world’s most productive and biologically rich ocean areas and protects over 700 species of fish and deep benthic species. NOAA’s national marine sanctuaries are responsible for protecting the biological and cultural resources within their boundaries.

GFNMS recently expanded to double in size and now protects 3,295 square miles, thus requiring further exploration of deep-ocean habitats. This project will visit unexplored deep-sea coral reefs, some of which lie in the deepest regions of the sanctuary and are areas that are proposed by the Pacific Fisheries Management Council to be newly opened or closed to bottom trawling.  This project will better define the role of rocky substrate in the deep ocean ecosystem and aid in understanding types of habitats and the biodiversity within the sanctuary to effectively manage the area.

CBNMS is entirely offshore encompassing 1,286 square miles of seafloor habitat.  This project will continue exploration of deep canyon and slope habitat begun by by previous Nautilus expeditions.  Areas of focus include regions of Bodega Canyon that were not previously explored, as well as depth zones along the slope that have not been surveyed to continue an inventory of deep-sea species and habitat zonation, particularly hard substrate that may be suitable for deep-sea corals and sponges.

There are many functions deep-sea corals and sponge communities provide to the ocean ecosystem, and a goal of these surveys will be to document the associations between the corals and other organisms, as well as the environmental conditions deep sea communities are experiencing and how that may affect their distribution, abundance, and condition.  

Sponsored by: NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries

Meet the Team

Photo of Wayne Bornio
Video Engineer
Photo of David Chan
Science Communication Fellow
Photo of Guy Cochrane
Science/Data Team
Photo of Dan Cormany
ROV Pilot
Photo of Mark DeRoche
Deck Chief
Photo of Gregg Diffendale
Hercules Pilot
Photo of Mugdha Flores
Science/Data Team
Photo of Lindsay Gee
Science/Data Team, Mapping
Photo of Paul Glick
ROV Engineering Intern
Photo of Kaitlin Graiff
Science/Data Team
Photo of Michael Hannaford
Hercules Pilot
Photo of Erin Heffron
Science/Data Team, Mapping
Photo of Brandy Jones
Science Communication Fellow
Photo of Renato Kane
Photo of Danielle Lipski
Science/Data Team
Photo of Justin Lowe
Data Engineer
Photo of Kelly Moran
Communications Lead
Photo of Joe Pawlenko
Data Engineer
Photo of Nicole Raineault
Expedition Leader
Photo of Erin Ranney
Video Engineer
Photo of Carrie Roble
Science Communication Fellowship
Photo of Jan Roletto
Science/Data Team
Photo of Jessica Sandoval
Argus Pilot
Photo of Miles Saunders
Photo of Ashley Siana
Video Engineering Internship
Photo of Taylorann Smith
Ocean Science Intern
Photo of Jennifer Stock
Communications / Science/Data Team
Photo of Sage Tezak
Mapping Specialist
Photo of Jamie Wagner
Science/Data Team
Photo of Antonella Wilby
ROV Engineering
Photo of Gary Williams
Science/Data Team


Video: Seafloor Swarming, Crawling, and Camouflaging in Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary
Seafloor Swarming, Crawling, and Camouflaging in Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary
October 10, 2019