Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary protects one of our nation's most treasured marine environments so that current and future generations can use and enjoy it. The sanctuaries work with partners and the Sanctuary Advisory Council to promote long-term conservation of sanctuary waters, wildlife, habitats, ecosystems, and maritime archaeological resources, while allowing compatible human uses.

A kelp forest

Management plan

The sanctuary's current management plan, published in 2023, guides activities at Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary, and identifies priority management issues and actions proposed to address them.

A sanctuary advisory council meeting

Management plan revision process

Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary conducted a public process to revise its management plan, wrapping up in 2023.

Seals and sea lions on a beach in the distance


Federal regulations established by NOAA help protect resources at Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary, under the authority of the National Marine Sanctuaries Act.

A diver grabs onto a chain


Research and education activities in Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary may require a sanctuary permit (in addition to other state and federal permits). Timely submission of permit requests is required and all permit applications must be submitted one month in advance.

Aerial view of a container ship passing by a whale

Resource Protection

The sanctuary works closely with partners like the shipping industry to balance conservation and commerce in the Santa Barbara Channel.

A coast guard helicopter flies past a coast guard ship


Compliance with regulations is essential for protecting biodiversity and habitats and providing long-term social and economic benefits. Community support is built through education and outreach, and effective enforcement, which in turn enhances compliance with regulations.

A sheephead swims through a kelp forest near Santa Cruz Island

Channel Islands Biosphere Region

The Channel Islands Biosphere Region (CIBR) was established in 1976 within UNESCO's Man and the Biosphere (MAB) program.