This polygon shapefile represents potential benthic habitats in the offshore area of Fort Ross, California. Using multibeam echosounder (MBES) bathymetry and backscatter data, potential marine benthic habitat maps were constructed. The habitats were based on substrate types and documented or "ground truthed" using underwater video images and seafloor samples obtained by the USGS. These maps display various habitat types that range from flat, soft, unconsolidated sediment-covered seafloor to hard, deformed (folded), or highly rugose and differentially eroded bedrock exposures. Rugged, high-relief, rocky outcrops that have been eroded to form ledges and small caves are ideal habitat for rockfish (Sebastes spp.) and other bottom fish such as lingcod (Ophiodon elongatus). This layer is part of USGS Data Series 781.In 2007, the California Ocean Protection Council initiated the California Seafloor Mapping Program (CSMP) to create a comprehensive seafloor map of high-resolution bathymetry, marine benthic habitats and geology within the 3-nautical-mile limit of California's State Waters. CSMP has divided coastal California into 110 map blocks, each to be published individually as United States Geological Survey Open-File Reports (OFRs) or Scientific Investigations Maps (SIMs) at a scale of 1:24,000. Maps display seafloor morphology and character, identify potential marine benthic habitats and illustrate both the seafloor geology and shallow (to about 100 m) subsurface geology. Data layers for bathymetry, bathymetric contours, acoustic backscatter, seafloor character, potential benthic habitat and offshore geology were created for each map block, as well as regional-scale data layers for sediment thickness, depth to transition, transgressive contours, isopachs, predicted distributions of benthic macro-invertebrates and visual observations of benthic habitat from video cruises over the entire state. These data are intended for science researchers, students, policy makers, and the general public. This information is not intended for navigational purposes.The data can be used with geographic information systems (GIS) software to display geologic and oceanographic information. Additionally, this coverage can provide a geologic map for the public and geoscience community to aid in assessments and mitigation of geologic hazards in the coastal region and sufficient geologic information for land-use and land-management decisions both onshore and offshore. This information is not intended for navigational purposes.