Unique oceanographic conditions, diverse habitats,
and an assortment of cold and warm water flora and fauna
characterize the Channel Islands National Marine
Sanctuary (CINMS). Unfortunately, development, resource
extraction, pollution, poor management, and other
pressures are threatening the region. In 1998, the CINMS
began a management plan review, incorporating
recommendations from federal, state and local agencies,
community stakeholders, and interest groups. The CINMS
staff and the concerned community identified the need
for a comprehensive ecological site characterization to
provide basic knowledge and to promote public
stewardship of the Sanctuary.
The Marine Sanctuary Group (MSG) Project was proposed to
synthesize available biological and physical data in
order to provide baseline information about the
distribution of marine habitats within the Sanctuary.
The MSG Project is expected to promote an ecosystem
understanding of the CINMS, and provide an interactive
medium for public stewardship of Sanctuary resources.