Santa Cruz Marine Protected Areas Beaches Tour by Mobile Ranger

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Santa Cruz MPA Collaborative logo

Project Lead(s)

Mobile Ranger

Completion Date



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Hand holding up cellphone that features Mobile Ranger app

About this Project

This self guided mobile tour features five different beaches along the Santa Cruz, California coast. Each beach is part of California’s statewide program to establish Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). MPAs are similar in concept to national parks and forests on land. The goal is to protect and restore ocean habitats and increase the health, productivity, and resilience of ocean ecosystems. The tour spans approximately 47 miles, from Elkhorn Slough at the apex of the Monterey Bay to Año Nuevo State Park just north of the line where Santa Cruz County becomes San Mateo County. It’s a beautiful driving tour, but make sure to leave time to stop and explore each beach. You’ll learn about elephant seals, shipwrecks, kelp ecology, geology, how native peoples interacted with the coastal environment, and more.

CDFW Approved

This content has been reviewed by California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) staff in an effort to ensure accuracy and consistency with statewide outreach product formats, and foster public understanding and compliance in a way that also supports CDFW enforcement efforts. Outreach products that undergo the CDFW review process are eligible to use the CDFW logo for added recognition.

California Department of Fish and Wildlife shield logo

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