Fort Ross State Historic Park is situated on a pristine stretch of Sonoma County coastline which boasts both rocky intertidal zones and sandy beaches. Come explore the protected marine preserve at Fort Ross Cove, or bring your binoculars to view Sea Lion Rocks just offshore north of the Visitor Center, a popular haulout for California and Steller Sea Lions. To learn more about marine activities and programming at Fort Ross, check out the links below.
Fort Ross Conservancy offers one or two day hands-on outdoor educational marine ecology programming for middle and high school aged students. This exciting location-based ocean ecology and stewardship program engages kids so that the science comes easily. Please check out our curriculum, photos, and testimonials to learn more about this new offering. If you are contemplating attending, please fill out an Marine Ecology Program application. Thanks to our Marine Ecology Youth Scholarship Fund, we can offer this program to deserving students at no or reduced fees. Please contact us with questions.
California and Steller Sea Lions, harbor seals — learn how to identify the many marine mammals that haul out at Fort Ross. Also consider joining our citizen science project: we walk the bluffs several times a month to count the marine mammals, and we capture and share this data on our database to better study the population shifts. We are always looking for volunteers, and it is truly a great way to learn how to identify and study these marvelous creatures.
Fort Ross Conservancy Marine Ecology Youth Scholarship Fund
Fort Ross Conservancy created a scholarship fund to ensure that all students have access to great outdoor programming, regardless of income level. The FRC scholarship fund has received support from local community members, the California Coastal Commission, and the Renova Fort Ross Foundation. Interested in contributing to the fund? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Interested in applying for a scholarship? See our online application.
Fort Ross Conservancy has created an iNaturalist Project called Rocky Intertidal Species of Fort Ross where we will continuously collect data on all our wonderful species that live in the Intertidal zone here at Fort Ross State Historic park. Fort Ross boasts great low-tide tidepooling as well as sandy shore environments. Consider a trek to our magnificent shoreline, but first check out a tide chart and the daily ocean conditions to make sure it’s safe to be out on the coast. Please be gentle with all creatures you find–don’t remove them from their natural placement, and be watchful of where you step.
iNaturalist is where you can record what you see in nature, meet other nature lovers, and learn about the natural world. From hikers to hunters, birders to beach-combers, the world is filled with naturalists, and many of us record what we find. What if all those observations could be shared online? You might discover someone who finds beautiful wildflowers at your favorite birding spot, or learn about the birds you see on the way to work. If enough people recorded their observations, it would be like a living record of life on Earth that scientists and land managers could use to monitor changes in biodiversity, and that anyone could use to learn more about nature. Join iNaturalist today and add your rocky intertidal species finds to our project!
In March of 2015 the Obama Administration expanded the Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary to include the Sonoma Coast, including both Fort Ross and Salt Point parks. See a map of the new marine sanctuary and read more about what this new status means for our coastline.