Coastal Aerial Filming

The Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS) and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) prohibit aerial flights under 1,000 feet from the mouth of the Carmel River south to Cambria, which encompasses the Big Sur coastline. Aerial overflights are also prohibited over the Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve and in the waters offshore of Moss Landing, due to the sensitivity of the marine and bird life in the area. Special use permits may be obtained in some cases, however, by applying for permits allowing 30 days or more for both MBNMS & CDFW review and processing. More permit information can be found on the MBNMS website.

Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS)

Specific Flight Information:

California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW)

Please contact the Monterey County Film Commission at 831-646-0910 (cell: 831-594-9410) or email Film Commissioner Karen Nordstrand at in advance of any filming to register the project, receive filming guidelines and tips, and to be advised of any changes in the following information.

The Monterey County Film Commission does not issue permits, but we are happy to help direct you to the appropriate jurisdictions which you’ll find listed within this section.