The Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary surrounds the wind-swept peaks of the Farallones islands off of the Golden Gate and encompasses over 1,200 square miles of open ocean and coastal waters. These coastal waters include bays and estuaries-from Bodega Head in Sonoma County all the way down along the San Mateo County coast. The sanctuary is larger than the state of Rhode Island and contains nearshore tidal flats, rocky intertidal areas, wetlands, subtidal reefs, and coastal beaches where a myriad of marine life flourishes in the nutrient-rich waters. It also contains vital nursery and spawning grounds for fish and shellfish, has thousands of seals and sea lions, and is home to the largest concentration of breeding seabirds in the continental U.S. This Encyclopedia is meant to provide natural history information, video clips, still images, and additional resources to find more information about the marine life found within the sanctuary. We hope you find this to be a valuable resource.