Pacific Coast

The Pacific Coast is a diverse habitat, essential for wildlife and for people who depend on coastal waters for recreation and even their livelihoods.

The Pacific Coast offers some of the world’s most spectacular ocean vistas, from the dramatic cliffs of California’s Big Sur to the forested bluffs and rocky beaches of Oregon and Washington.

Magnificent animals like the migrating gray whale travel the length of the coast. Sea otters and harbor seals charm tourists. And beneath the surface lie natural wonders like life-filled giant kelp forests and underwater canyons.

Ocean Conservancy is working to support a healthy Pacific Coast  that provides not only habitat for fish, birds and wildlife, but also recreational and income opportunities for countless individuals and communities. 

Marine Protected Areas: Our Underwater Parks

Like parks on land, marine protected areas give ocean life and habitats the breathing room to become more resilient in the face of challenges like overfishing and pollution.

Ocean Conservancy has worked for many years to help California achieve the first-ever statewide network of marine protected areas. Science shows that these protected areas will improve biodiversity, bring back economically important fisheries and support overall ocean health.

Popularity Stresses Legendary Coastal Waters

As in other parts of the world, the California coast is taxed by a growing population. That means increasing numbers of people seeking time on the water.

Sadly, more and more people are leaving their trash behind. And now this storied coastline could bear the brunt of debris from the 2011 tsunami in Japan

Adding to the pressure, recreational activities like kayaking, paddleboarding and recreational fishing often compete for ocean space with commercial interests including shipping and transportation, energy development, and commercial fishing.

More activity on the water means more stress on habitats and wildlife. Ocean Conservancy supports a holistic approach to smart ocean planning, and we’ve worked for more than 25 years on a vision of clean water and beaches.

Shellfish Struggling with Emerging Issue of Increasing Acidification

When the ocean absorbs our carbon emissions from the atmosphere, the resulting change in water chemistry makes it difficult for shell-building animals to make shells. Called ocean acidification, this threat is affecting marine life along with people’s livelihoods right now.

In the waters off the coast of Washington and Oregon, ocean acidification is taking some of its first victims. Oyster larvae critical for the region’s oyster farmers have been unable to thrive. Local action to address acidification exists, and Ocean Conservancy is collaborating with a range of partners and stakeholders to monitor and address this critical emerging issue.

Help us protect Pacific Coast habitats, essential for wildlife and for people who depend on coastal waters for recreation and even their livelihoods.


Top 10 Dive Sites in California's Underwater Park

Dive into these underwater parks to enjoy the beauty and bounty of marine protected areas.

Dishonorable Discharge: Protecting California Waters

California moves to end sewage and waste dumping from cruise ships off its expansive coastline.

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