ocean habitats

A Model of Collaboration: The Orange County Marine Protected Area Council

MPA sign
MPA sign created by OCMPAC
photo by A. Van Diggelen

With so much to experience within the five counties that hug the Southern California coastline—Santa Barbara, Ventura, Los Angeles, Orange, and San Diego—it’s no surprise that almost half the state’s population, around 18 million people, can be found living along this famously sun-filled stretch of coast. Despite the large volume of people, California implemented 50 marine protected areas (MPAs) off these coastal counties in 2012.

Continue reading “A Model of Collaboration: The Orange County Marine Protected Area Council”

Exploring California’s Marine Protected Areas: Montara State Marine Reserve

Hopkin's rose nudibranch
Montara State Marine Reserve is an excellent place to find many different species of tiny sea slugs, such as this Hopkins rose nudibranch.
photo by R. Cala

Summer temperatures in California’s land-locked central valley can soar above 100 degrees Fahrenheit, forcing residents to take refuge in their air-conditioned homes. Another popular way to beat the heat is to visit the coast near San Francisco, where billows of silvery fog and a cool, salt-soaked breeze beckon visitors during the summer months. Continue reading “Exploring California’s Marine Protected Areas: Montara State Marine Reserve”

Exploring California’s Marine Protected Areas: Lovers Point-Julia Platt State Marine Reserve

Monterey beckons to people who love the seaside. Families, kayakers, divers, and photographers flock to its breathtaking ocean views, historic charm, and easy coastal access. Continue reading “Exploring California’s Marine Protected Areas: Lovers Point-Julia Platt State Marine Reserve”

Beyond Cannery Row: The Monterey Marine Protected Area Collaborative

Monterey MPA Collaborative members prepare to test their Trident underwater drone at Whaler’s Cove, Point Lobos
photo by C. Allison

Monterey has built its reputation on abundant marine resources and scenic bay waters. Visitors flock to see the sea otters, visit the world-renowned Monterey Bay Aquarium, and stroll along Steinbeck’s Cannery Row. Continue reading “Beyond Cannery Row: The Monterey Marine Protected Area Collaborative”

Exploring California’s Marine Protected Areas: Submarine Canyon Habitats

Deep and mysterious waters lie just off California’s coast, sometimes within a stone’s throw of the beach. A millennium of tectonic forces, and more recent geologic forces like ice ages and erosion have brought these present-day deep ocean habitats, called submarine canyons, to our coastal doorstep. Exotic ocean life and biological diversity abound in these deep canyons. Continue reading “Exploring California’s Marine Protected Areas: Submarine Canyon Habitats”