Isn’t it magical to think that while you’re standing on the shore of a beach, gazing at the blanket of ocean, there is an entire world just underneath the surface, a world that’s home to one of the biggest creatures that has ever lived? And while we hardly ever see them from the shore, there’s a special time of the year – every winter and spring – when the Pacific coast becomes a highway for the great grey whale migration and land-dwellers get to spy these enigmatic animals.
There are giants in California. They jut out of soil dampened by fog rolling in from the Pacific and reach greater heights than any other living thing on the planet. They are the coast redwoods: the world’s tallest trees. Many of them grow to be over 200 feet tall and the tallest soar to over 350 feet -- higher than a 30 story skyscraper.
From the surf of San Diego to the sea bluffs of the Lost Coast, thousands of people across California are trading in their sand pails for trash bags on September 20, to take part in the 23rd annual California Coastal Cleanup Day.
Whether you're looking for an easy Sunday stroll or a rugged mountain path to explore, California State Parks' new online guide to hiking trails will have you strapping on your boots and making tracks across the shorelines and summits that grace the Golden State.
Hunted to the brink of extinction at the turn of the 20th century, the northern elephant seal has made a strong comeback in the past 100 years, thanks in part to both government restrictions on hunting and their own secluded, deep-sea lifestyle. For just a few months each year, these unique creatures come ashore, returning to various spots along the California coast to compete, mate, and give birth.
For 11 years the Common Murre Restoration Project has been restoring seabird colonies on a small seastack known as Devil's Slide Rock, on the San Mateo County coast just 15 miles south of San Francisco. The Devil's Slide breeding colony held close to 3,000 Common Murres (Uria aalge) as recently as the early 1980s, but was wiped out as a result of human-caused mortality.