Central California Coast February 2006
When the reunion in San Jose drew to a close, I cut through the coastal range and reached Highway 1 and started a
tour of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, picking the spots noted for birds and wildlife.
The Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS) is a Federally protected marine area offshore of California's
central coast. Stretching from Marin to Cambria, the MBNMS encompasses a shoreline length of 276 miles and 5,322
square miles of ocean. Supporting one of the world's most diverse marine ecosystems, it is home to numerous
mammals, seabirds, fishes, invertebrates and plants in a remarkably productive coastal environment. The MBNMS was
established for the purpose of resource protection, research, education, and public use of this national treasure. The
MBNMS is part of a system of 13 National Marine Sanctuaries administered by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration. Since the establishment of the MBNMS many comeback of marine life realized, such as the Harbor Seal
birth in the Elkhorn Slough.
West of the coast line, there are many submarine canyons stretching to about 210 miles off shore, e.g. Monterey
Submarine Canyon, Ano Nuevo Submarine Canyon and Ascending Submarine Canyon. These canyons bring up
welling which is rich in food for the marine life, supporting the wide variety of marine life.
On the way back to SF airport, Pinnacles National Monument offered spectacular scenery view.