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 Header image
The Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary
Advisory Council

(SAC or Council) was established in December 1998 to assure continued public participation in management of the Sanctuary. Since its establishment, the Council has played a vital role in the decisions affecting the Sanctuary, bringing valuable community advice and expertise to the task of assuring effective Sanctuary management. The Council provides a public forum for consultation and community deliberation on resource management issues affecting the waters surrounding the Channel Islands.

One of the Council's most important strengths comes from the diversity of its membership. The Council consists of 21 voting members and 21 alternates that represent the general public, tourism, business, recreational fishing, commercial fishing, non-consumptive recreation, education, research, conservation and Chumash community interests, as well as local, State and Federal government agencies. Additionally, the respective managers of three California National Marine Sanctuaries (Channel Islands, Gulf of the Farallones and Monterey Bay) participate as non-voting members of the Council. The in-depth and varied knowledge of these individuals, especially related to Sanctuary resources and values, combines to form a highly valuable collective body of expertise and experience. The Council is a community-based body that provides a public forum for consultation and deliberation on resource management issues affecting the waters surrounding the Channel Islands.

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The Council's objectives are to provide the Sanctuary manager with advice on:

Protecting natural and cultural resources, and identifying and evaluating emergent or critical issues involving Sanctuary use or resources;
Identifying and realizing the Sanctuary's research objectives;
Identifying and realizing educational opportunities to increase the public knowledge and stewardship of the Sanctuary environment; and
Assisting to develop an informed constituency to increase awareness
and understanding of the purpose and value of the Sanctuary and the National Marine Sanctuary Program.

SAC representatives are appointed competitively by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and serve voluntary two-year terms. The Council meets bi-monthly in open public sessions located throughout Ventura and Santa Barbara counties. Public participation at these meetings is welcomed and encouraged. More information on how the Council conducts its business can be found in the Sanctuary Advisory Council's Charter and additional guiding protocols.

The Council is supported by a number of working groups the Conservation Working Group, the Sanctuary Education Team (SET), Commercial Fishing Working Group, the Recreational Fishing Working Group and the Research Activities Panel. These working groups are created by and operate under the purview of the Council, and help to bring additional community members and experts to the SAC to focus on specific issues. Some working groups meet on a bi-monthly basis, while others meet on a less frequent basis as deemed necessary. A graphic overview of the various working groups is presented here.

Thank you for your interest in the Channel Islands Sanctuary Advisory Council. If you have any questions, feel free to contact the Sanctuary Advisory Coordinator by e-mail or phone at (805) 893-6418. To keep informed about upcoming public meetings of the Sanctuary Advisory Council, or opportunities to apply for Council membership, sign up to receive notifications here.

We invite you to check this web site for information on upcoming Advisory Council meetings, and hope that you can join us!



For more information, contact:
Michael Murray,
Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary
University of California Santa Barbara
Ocean Science Education Building 514, MC 6155
Santa Barbara, CA 93106-6155


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