Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary is recognized as an ecologically significant marine ecosystem, supporting tremendous biodiversity in close proximity to highly populated Southern California. A wide range of sanctuary research and monitoring projects reflects this confluence of people and nature, as well as the diversity of science partners involved.

people handle research equipment on the deck of a ship

Research & Monitoring

Learn more about sanctuary research priorities, including ecosystem connectivity, soundscapes, seafloor mapping, deep-sea corals, and interactive status and trend reporting.

A tomol being rowed at sunrise

Condition Report

The Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary Condition Report assesses the condition and trends of sanctuary resources, informing management planning efforts.

dolphins swim close to the surfac eof the water

Science Needs Assessment

The Science Needs Assessment is an evaluation of science and information requirements of the sanctuary, guided by condition report findings and sanctuary management issues.

yellow flowers with a rock island and water in the background

Sanctuary Integrated Monitoring Network (SIMoN)

A wide variety of research and monitoring activities are underway within the sanctuary, led by various academic, agency, and non-governmental partners. Learn more within the SIMoN website.

A swarm of schooling fish

Research Activities Panel

The Research Activities Panel is a working group of the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council that reviews and advises the council and sanctuary staff on a variety of research topics.

rv Shearwater

Field Operations

Sanctuary staff use a range of platforms to advance our mission of protecting natural and cultural resources through research and education.

seals being released from the back of rv Shearwater


A permit from NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries is required when a research or education project would result in conducting a prohibited activity within the sanctuary.