Exploring California’s Marine Protected Areas: Pillar Point State Marine Conservation Area

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Pillar Point State Marine Conservation Area (SMCA) is located on the stunning coastline of San Mateo county just south of San Francisco. This marine protected area (MPA) lies on the northern edge of Half Moon Bay and is known for its abundant marine life, “fish in grey suits” (white sharks), surfers in rubber suits, and wild waves.  Continue reading

Exploring California’s Marine Protected Areas: Ten Mile Beach State Marine Conservation Area and Ten Mile State Marine Reserve

Winding along Highway 1 north of Fort Bragg takes you through coastal plains, patches of forest, and hidden dunes, with a glimpse of the ocean from time to time. As you approach the bridge that crosses Ten Mile River, the scenery suddenly opens up to a panoramic view of ocean and estuary in an area known simply as Ten Mile.

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Morro Bay State Marine Recreational Management Area and Morro Bay State Marine Reserve

Morro Bay
White pelicans, with Morro Rock in the background
photo by T. Heitzenrater

As you drive on Highway 1 into Morro Bay, San Luis Obispo County, a towering rock comes into view marking the edge of the Pacific Ocean. More than 575 feet tall, Morro Rock is evidence of the area’s volcanically active past. Continue reading

Exploring California’s Marine Protected Areas: Point Dume State Marine Reserve and Point Dume State Marine Conservation Area

map
Point Dume SMR and Point Dume SMCA
(click to enlarge)

Just over 30 miles due west of downtown Los Angeles, one of the world’s most popular coastal destinations — Malibu — attracts millions of visitors each year. Famous for expansive beaches, sprawling estates, and majestic mountains, Malibu averages over 280 sunny days a year, and is an outdoor haven for locals and tourists alike.

Encompassing more than 25 miles of coastline, Malibu is home to beaches, beaches, and surprise…more beaches! While many of these Continue reading