Exploring California’s Marine Protected Areas: Ten Mile Estuary State Marine Conservation Area

Ten Mile River Bridge
Ten Mile River Bridge crossing Ten Mile Estuary State Marine Conservation Area
CDFW photo by L. Lopez

The sand dunes, river, and beach at Ten Mile Beach State Marine Conservation Area (SMCA) are an enticing draw for people staying at MacKerricher State Park. Located off Highway 1 north of Fort Bragg, this marine protected area (MPA) is clearly a special place for beach walks and bird watching.  

What you may not realize is that Ten Mile Beach SMCA has an inland neighbor, Ten Mile Estuary SMCA, that can be found by simply turning away from the ocean to face inland, up the winding Ten Mile River. Continue reading “Exploring California’s Marine Protected Areas: Ten Mile Estuary State Marine Conservation Area”

Exploring California’s Marine Protected Areas: Big River Estuary State Marine Conservation Area

Big River Estuary SMCA
Kayaker at Big River Estuary State Marine Conservation Area
photo by L. Kashiwada

Big River Estuary State Marine Conservation Area (SMCA) is a small marine protected area located just south of the town of Mendocino. It covers less than a quarter square mile of estuary habitat along 1.3 miles of riverbank east of the Highway 1 bridge. Continue reading “Exploring California’s Marine Protected Areas: Big River Estuary State Marine Conservation Area”