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California corals and more Marine Protected Area news

Did you know coral lives in California?! While far from tropical coral reefs, our coastal waters, and some of our marine protected areas (MPAs), are home to deep-water coral species like purple hydrocoral (Stylaster californicus) that can be found from northern California to central Baja. 

While not considered a true reef building coral like those in the tropics, these vibrant hydrocoral create shelter for an array of fish and invertebrates like gobies and nudibranchs and are a sight to see while scuba diving. These deep water corals can be found in a number of locations, including the Channel Islands, Monterey Bay, the Gulf of the Farallones off San Francisco and the continental slope off northern California.

Courtesy Chad King/NOAA

Tribal stewardship and California's marine protected areas

Since time immemorial, indigenous tribes have maintained an intimate connection with California's land and sea. 

As the original stewards of the coast, native peoples possess traditional knowledge about the health of  and threats to California's coast and ocean. California’s tribes continue to manage, depend on, and have a sacred relationship with the ocean. Today, California's tribes are able to contribute to the ongoing management of California's marine protected areas (MPAs). 

Chumash people paddling a Tomol © 2015 Photo compilation by Tima Link, source image by photographer Robert Schwemmer, NOAA.