Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary
The sanctuary extends from Marin to Cambria off the California coast. It comprises
276 miles of shoreline and 5,322 sq. miles of ocean. It was established in
the 1990's, and is one of the largest of 13 national sanctuaries. It is a federally
protected marine area, established for the purpose of marine ecological protection.
Which means there cannot be oil drilling or large cargo shipping here.
It is one
of only five major up welling regions in the world. Up welling happens
when cold nutrient rich water that is pulled up from the deep as spring
winds push warmer water offshore and the cold nutrient rich water
rushes up to replace
it. The nutrient rich water now on the surface gets sunlight in the
summertime supporting phytoplankton blooms. This forms the basis
of the food chain leading
to zooplankton, krill, small bait fish, and other forage items.