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Monterey Bay

Sea Spirit’s Home in Santa Cruz

The Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary stretches from the Marin Headlands north of San Francisco down to Cambria, and at 6,000 sq. mi,  it is one of the largest marine sanctuaries in the country. The ocean protected within this sanctuary includes coastal kelp forests, rocky reefs, and deep canyons. It provides shelter and abundant food to a wide range of animals, from the microscopic up to the largest animal that has ever lived. This abundant variety of marine life includes 36 species of marine mammals, more than 180 species of seabirds and shorebirds, at least 525 species of fish and an abundance of invertebrates and algae.

In the center of the Monterey Bay is the Monterey Canyon, one of the largest underwater canyons in the world. It begins off the coast of Moss Landing and is 249 miles (401 km) long, although its shape changes regularly because of currents and sediment being left in the area. Many of the animals we see on our trips are here specifically because of the food this canyon provides.

Monterey Bay is home to many species of marine mammals, including several types of dolphins, harbor seals, and southern sea otters. Many more animals migrate here each year to take advantage of our abundant food. Humpbacks, Blues, and other whales come here to feed on small animals by the millions. Killer whales can been seen here hunting sea lions, dolphins, or even Gray whale calves on their journey north. In addition to these magnificent mammals, we see a variety of other amazing creatures. Great White Sharks, Blues and occasionally Mako Sharks can be seen in the summer months, and sea birds from around the globe visit us as well.