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

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During early spring, island wildflowers such as the Giant Coreopsis (Coreopsis gigantea) are in full bloom (March through early April).

Xantus’s Murrelets (Synthiboramphus hypoleucus) breed and nest on the Channel Islands (March through July).

Gray Whales (Eschrichtius robustus) migrate north through Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary from calving grounds in Baja California, Mexico to Alaskan feeding grounds (Mid-February through May).

Pacific Harbor Seal (Phoca vitulina) pupping season on San Miguel Island (February through May).

Peak egg-laying season for California Brown Pelicans (Pelecanus occidentalis californicus) on Anacapa and Santa Barbara Islands (March and April).

Brant Geese (Branta bernicla) stop to rest and feed in the Channel Islands region on their annual migration between Mexico and Alaska (March through May).

Double-Crested Cormorants (Phalacrocorax auritus) begin nesting on the Channel Islands.

Red-Necked Phalaropes (Phalaropus lobatus) can be seen in the Santa Barbara Channel in the spring (April and May) and fall (August through October).

Peak spawning season for Grunion (Leuresthes tenuis) on southern California beaches. Grunion leave the water at night to spawn on the beach in the spring and summer months two to six nights after the full and new moons. Spawning begins after high tide and continues for several hours (late March through early June).

Island Fox (Urocyon littoralis) pups are born in early spring on the Channel Islands (March and April).



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