Tomales Bay Vessel Management Plan

Posted on: 1/03/2023 - Updated on: 1/03/2023

Posted by




The Final Tomales Bay Vessel Management Plan, published in August 2013, was developed by Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary (the Sanctuary) staff and the California State Lands Commission (CLSC) staff in collaboration with nine other local, state and federal agencies with jurisdiction in Tomales Bay collectively known as the Tomales Bay Interagency Committee. The Environmental Assessment and Initial Study (EA/IS), which is included as an appendix to the Plan, analyzes the potential environmental effects associated with implementation of the Plan consistent with the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act and California Environmental Quality Act.

Since the adoption of the Plan in August 2013, the Tomales Bay Mooring Program Requirements (Policies and Criteria) have been developed and finalized. The Mooring Zones and mooring exclusion areas described in the Plan have also been modified slightly, due to the availability of more recent data regarding California State Park jurisdiction, seagrass beds and aquaculture lease areas. The updated zones and exclusion areas can be found in the Tomales Bay Mooring Program Requirements (Policies and Criteria) document as well as on the Tomales Bay Mooring Program Interactive PDF Map (both are linked below).

The Plan is the result of a long-term multi-agency effort to streamline and coordinate vessel management activities for the benefit of the public. The Plan aims to improve water quality, protect wildlife and habitat, protect public health and ensure recreational opportunities in Tomales Bay. It also implements the mandates and regulations of both the Sanctuary and CSLC. It represents extensive input from the boating community and other local stakeholders, and addresses numerous issues including vessel sewage discharge, impacts from moorings to eelgrass beds and other sensitive habitat, derelict or deserted vessels, introduction of invasive species, disturbance of wildlife, and discharges of oil, fuel, and vessel maintenance products. The Sanctuary has regulatory authority over all these issues, and the applicable regulations can be found at 15 CFR Part 992 Subpart H.

The Plan provides guidance to the agencies and the public for improving the water quality, protecting and restoring the natural resources and ensuring public health and safety of water-related uses of Tomales Bay. The Plan does not establish any new legal authorities; none of the proposed actions will alter existing authorities with regard to management of resources or regulation of activities within Tomales Bay.


Tomales Bay Vessel Management Plan. August 27, 2013. Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary, California State Lands Commission (CLSC), and the Tomales Bay Interagency Committee.

Affiliated Organizations

National Marine Sanctuary Program, California State Lands Commission

Affiliated Organizations

The Department of Commerce promotes job creation and economic growth by ensuring fair and reciprocal trade, providing the data necessary to support commerce and constitutional democracy, and fostering innovation by setting standards and conducting foundational research and development.

NOAA is an agency that enriches life through science. Our reach goes from the surface of the sun to the depths of the ocean floor as we work to keep citizens informed of the changing environment around them. From daily weather forecasts, severe storm warnings and climate monitoring to fisheries management, coastal restoration and supporting marine commerce, NOAA’s products and services support economic vitality and affect more than one-third of America’s gross domestic product.

The National Ocean Service provides data, tools, and services that support coastal economies and their contribution to the national economy. NOS is dedicated to advancing the following priorities:

Designated in 1981, Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary (GFNMS) spans 1,279-square-miles (966 square nautical miles) just north and west of San Francisco Bay, and protects open ocean, nearshore tidal flats, rocky intertidal areas, estuarine wetlands, subtidal reefs, and coastal beaches within its boundaries.


Document Type
Adaptation Phase
Habitat/Biome Type