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Approximately 50 miles northwest of the Golden Gate Bridge, Cordell Bank rises from the edge of California's continental shelf. Although a few of this submerged island's ridges and pinnacles stretch to within 120 feet of the ocean surface, most of the bank sits on the continental shelf at 400 feet. Here, upwellings of nutrient rich ocean waters and the bank's topography create one of the most biologically productive areas on the West Coast. This combination produces a lush feeding ground for many marine mammals and seabirds as well as countless other marine species that flourish in this extraordinarily rich marine environment. However, due to its depth, currents, and distance from the mainland, few people have seen this special part of the California seafloor. 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.

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