Underwater Wilderness


CCA protects kelp forests, reefs and more in the marine protected area of Crystal Cove.

TheWaveEnews-July20131With more than 1,100 acres of pristine marine protected area (approximately one-third of the park), Crystal Cove is a hotbed of underwater activity. Since January 2012, when Crystal Cove became a designated region in which human activity is restricted in the interest of protecting ocean ecosystems, CCA has launched its exploration of the waters to find ways to best manage and preserve the region.

Citizen science programs are a huge priority for CCA; everyday citizens are guided in collecting data for university researchers to use in exciting—and environmentally relevant—projects. The
new citizen science cruises get middle and high school students involved using “digital” fishing rods to count fish in kelp forests, plankton nets and microscopes to collect and study fish eggs, and Van Dorn oceanographic collection bottles to evaluate water quality.

Work on these “floating laboratories” and in Cottage #22, the Park & Marine Research Facility, evaluate the effectiveness of marine protected areas. CCA is dedicated to designing science programs that advance scientific discovery, manage the state park’s land and waters and enrich the community. Learn more about CCA’s Park & Marine Research Facility at Cottage #22!

Photos by Jody Tiongco

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