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Marvel at the Diversity of Western Marine Life

52 Week Adventure Challenge

12.11.17

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Marvel at the Diversity of Western Marine Life

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  • Slate pencil urchin/Punahu (Eucidaris tribuloides) at Molokini Crater. Photo by Jason Raia (CC 2.0).- Marvel at the Diversity of Western Marine Life
  • Coral and marine life at Molokini Crater. Photo by Allie Caulfield (CC 2.0).- Marvel at the Diversity of Western Marine Life
  • Kealakekua Bay is the Big Island's largest natural bay, and it is a Marine Life Conservation District.- Marvel at the Diversity of Western Marine Life
  • The rocks just offshore from Kealakekua are great habitat for snorkeling.- Marvel at the Diversity of Western Marine Life
  • Tide pools with anemones, sea stars, mussels, barnacles and various other kinds of marine life in BC's Halfmoon Bay.- Marvel at the Diversity of Western Marine Life
  • Halfmoon Bay, Pacific Rim National Park.- Marvel at the Diversity of Western Marine Life
  • Salt Creek lies within a Marine Protected Area. Fishing and taking of marine life are prohibited.- Marvel at the Diversity of Western Marine Life
  • Año Nuevo Island.- Marvel at the Diversity of Western Marine Life
  • Año Nuevo State Park.- Marvel at the Diversity of Western Marine Life
  • The view from the visitor center at Año Nuevo.- Marvel at the Diversity of Western Marine Life
  • A sea snail found in the tide pools at Kalaloch. Be gentle if touching marine life.- Marvel at the Diversity of Western Marine Life
  • When the tide is out at Kalaloch Beach 1, sandbars offer room for exploration.- Marvel at the Diversity of Western Marine Life
  • A kayaker passes through one of the many kelp beds found around Anacortes and Burrows Island.- Marvel at the Diversity of Western Marine Life
  • A great blue heron sits on a rock near Burrows Island.- Marvel at the Diversity of Western Marine Life
  • Sea otters are very social and can often be found in groups, even when napping.- Marvel at the Diversity of Western Marine Life
  • Sea otters in Morro Bay.- Marvel at the Diversity of Western Marine Life
  • Morro Bay: Sea otters are very social and can often be found in groups.- Marvel at the Diversity of Western Marine Life
  • Great blue heron at Elkhorn Slough.- Marvel at the Diversity of Western Marine Life
  • Harbor seals dozing on the beach at Elk Horn Slough.- Marvel at the Diversity of Western Marine Life
  • Big sky above the slough.- Marvel at the Diversity of Western Marine Life
  • Elkhorn Slough: The otters are mildly curious.- Marvel at the Diversity of Western Marine Life
  • Brown pelicans in formation.- Marvel at the Diversity of Western Marine Life
  • Looking north toward Blacklock Point from Cape Blanco.- Marvel at the Diversity of Western Marine Life
  • View looking out into the Pacific Ocean from Ecola State Park's southern day use area.- Marvel at the Diversity of Western Marine Life
  • View of Sea Lion Rocks at Ecola State Park.- Marvel at the Diversity of Western Marine Life
  • The trailhead to Makapu'u is located off the road to the right, after the whale lookout binoculars.- Marvel at the Diversity of Western Marine Life
  • The Makapu'u tide pools offer a refreshing break from the heat.- Marvel at the Diversity of Western Marine Life
  • Tide pools are a host to a plethora of intertidal organisms.- Marvel at the Diversity of Western Marine Life
  • A group of humpback whales in Monterey Bay, viewed from a small aircraft approximately 1,500 feet above the water.- Marvel at the Diversity of Western Marine Life
  • Several guide services operate out of Moss Landing and offer whale watching kayak tours.- Marvel at the Diversity of Western Marine Life
  • The underwater topography of Monterey Bay funnels schools of fish and the whales and other large mammals that feed on them within a few miles of shore.- Marvel at the Diversity of Western Marine Life
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Contributor

From humpback whales to moon jellies, sea otters to sea anemones, hermit crabs to sea turtles, the ocean is teeming with with life. Whether you spot marine life from the shore, a boat, or from the water itself, explorers of all ages will get a kick out of seeing aquatic creatures in their natural habitats.

Some of the best places to search for marine life are the Puget Sound, along the Oregon coast, in California, Hawai'i, but the the truth is there are plenty of ocean paradises to choose from. Don't forget to look up for marine birds in the sky, and you'll have to get low to appreciate the incredible tiny organisms that live in the sand or tide pools. Sometimes it requires a little patience, but catching a glimpse of a wild animal or aquatic species is just plain delightful. You’ll never forget the first time you saw the silhouette of dolphins cresting out of the water, a sea otter floating in a nest of kelp, or a starfish clinging to a seaside boulder.

Just like any wildlife sightings you might experience on land, it’s important to keep your distance and remain respectful of a wild animal, especially if you are unfamiliar with the right way to behave around it. Seemingly docile and passive creatures can still easily harm or be harmed. If you want to go beyond being a casual observer of marine life, look into local guiding companies that can take you snorkeling, boating, or whale watching, and provide you with information about what you are looking at along the way. 

That being said, revel in the beauty and sense of discovery that accompanies these creatures. Here’s a list of our favorite places to spot marine life in its natural habitat.

Hawai'i

B.C. 

California

Northwest

#52AdventureChallenge

We believe good things come from people spending time outside. We strive to provide inspiration and supporting information on incredible adventures to make it easy for you to get outdoors and explore new places. We understand that life is busy, but we strongly encourage you to make time for outdoor recreation on a weekly, if not daily, basis. To keep you inspired all year, we've put together a list of 52 geologic features and adventure themes. Check them out and join us in our #52AdventureChallenge!

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