The foggy wave-torn coast of northern California may not seem like a haven for coral at first glance, but NOAA researchers say they've recently discovered a treasure trove of new deep sea habitats in the Gulf of Farallones Sanctuary, not far from San Francisco.
The area is a melting pot for deep sea corals, sponges, rockfish, and other species.
A partnership of federal and independent scientists found the rocky reef habitats in October in an area at depths of up to 457 meters, where such corals and sponges had not been seen before.
Preliminary findings from a recently completed series of research cruises featuring scientists from the sanctuary, NOAA's National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science, the U.S. Geological Survey, California Academy of Sciences, and Marine Applied Research and Exploration (MARE) include the discovery of many species of sponges and corals including a large black coral on a previously unstudied rocky seafloor bank 40 miles offshore, near the Farallon Islands.
via Oceans: Science team reports new finds in Farallones Sanctuary « Summit County Citizens Voice.