National marine sanctuary offices and visitor centers closed to the public; waters remain open

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

Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary

photo of shearwater vessel

R.V. Shearwater

The Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary's 62' high-speed Teknicraft catamaran is used primarily as a platform to conduct ecological and oceanographic research in the waters of the Santa Barbara Channel in Southern California. The vessel also serves as a host for educational field trips and emergency response in and around the Sanctuary. The A-frame and winch are used to conduct trawls, CTD casts, sediment sampling, and deploy equipment such as sidescan sonar and ROVs. The wet and dry labs allow on-board processing of samples and data. Dive operations are supported by onboard facilities and equipment. Projects on R/V Shearwater have included sea bird research, archeological/cultural research (primarily shipwrecks), monitoring marine reserves, studying whales, mapping eelgrass, and oceanographic sampling. On board berthing, stowage, galley and safety equipment allow for multiple-day excursions with scientists and crew.

RV Shark Cat Description

The Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary's 28' twinhull power cruiser is used as a platform to support single day dive and emergency response operations. Dive support capacity includes the ability to carry up to three divers, with two tanks each and is outfitted with a dive ladder, oxygen, AED, and backboard. The endurance of 6 – 8 hours at continuous cruising speed of 25 knots makes the R/V Sharkcat an important asset for rapid response to emergencies that occur within the sanctuary.
Vessel Particulars
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For more information, contact:

LTJG Nick DeProspero
NOAA Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary
University of California Santa Barbara
Ocean Science Education Building 514,MC 6155
Santa Barbara, CA. 93106-6155


photo of remotely operated vehicle in the water
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