Rich Biodiversity in Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary
Once thought to be a lifeless desert, the deep sea continues to reveal rich life nourished by decomposing debris (more elegantly known as marine snow) drifting from above. Wriggling rattails and gelatinous jellies pulse in the midwater, setting the stage for octopus, sea spiders, and skates to creep, crawl, and camouflage along the seafloor of Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary.
Continuing north along the California coast to Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary (CBNMS), offshore the San Francisco Bay Area, Nautilus will visually survey deep-water habitat that has never been explored and characterize habitat, species, and communities. Recently expanded to protect 1,286 square miles of offshore habitat including continental shelf, Cordell Bank, and Bodega Canyon, as well as smaller canyons along the continental slope, most newly added areas of CBNMS have not been explored.