Living Sea Images Marine Life Photography

Following the links below can greatly enrich your experience of the Wonders of the Sea. In addition, more education and information is available via our Links page.

Photographic Contributors:
The images on the back cover, and pages 9 and 15 were taken by our friend and dive buddy Alan Studley. You can contact him by email.
The images on pages 34 and 44 are the work of Mark Conlin and Doug Perrine, respectively. They are both represented by
The beautiful views of Chimeny Rock on p. 41 and the Golden Gate on pp. 52-53 are by Katherine and Tim Edwards, respectively. Their beautful images of Point Reyes an other locations are at
The Murres on page 57 and Marbled Murrelet on page 71 were taken by Ron LeValley. You can see his work on his website,
The wolf eel image on page 65 was taken by scientist and author Daniel W. Gotshall.
Our design advisor Nancy Stein paints scenes inspired by vistas found near her Point Reyes home. They displayed at

1 "Shifting baselines" is the name given to the generational re-definition of what is "natural." The term was coined by marine biologist Dr. Daniel Pauly and applied to the ecology of kelp forests by Dr. Paul Dayton.
See: and
Pauly, D. 1995. “Anecdotes and the shifting baseline syndrome of fisheries.” Trends in Ecology and Evolution 10(10):430 and also
Dayton, Paul K., Mia J. Tegner, Peter B. Edwards, Kristin L. Riser “Sliding Baselines, Ghosts, and Reduced Expectations in Kelp Forest Communities” Ecological Applications, Vol. 8, No. 2 (May, 1998), pp. 309-322.
2 Yosemite was the first land set aside for preservation and public use, by Congress and President Abraham Lincoln in 1864. Yellowstone became the first national park in 1872, Yosemite received the same status in 1890.
3 The MLPA was passed in 1999, statewide implementation is scheduled to finish in 2011. For current information, see:
4 The Partnership for Interdisciplinary Studies of Coastal Oceans, The Science of Marine Reserves, (Second Edition: United States Version, 2007). This is available online from: For a conservation perspective, visit:
5 The south central coast was the first of four sections of California’s shoreline to be mapped under MLPA. A network of reserves and other protected areas was enacted there in 2007. Excellent information on the locations and regulations are online at:
6 Berkeley, Steven, Mark Hixon, Ralph Larson, Milton Love, “Pacific Rockfish Management: Are We Circling the Wagons Around the Wrong Paradigm?” Bulletin of Marine Science 78 (May 2006) pages 655-667(13). See their PowerPoint presentation with graphs, online at: - Mote.pdf
7 California Marine Life Protection Act Initiative, Regional Profile of the North Central Coast Study Region (Alder Creek/Point Arena to Pigeon Point, California), October 8, 2007, page 4. Hereinafter referred to as Regional Profile, it is available online at:
8 Schaaf-Da Silva, Jayna “Canary and Vermilion and Yelloweye... oh my!” Marine Management News September, 2005, pages 6-7. California Department of Fish and Game. See:
9 Dr. Lance Morgan, personal communication February, 2008. Dr. Morgan is Vice President for Science of the Marine Conservation Biology Institute.
10 NOAA National Center For Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) 2007. Illustrated in a map online at:
11 Regional Profile, page 18.
12 Gerstle Cove Reserve was established in 1971. In the 1990s the state began to use the term “marine reserve” to refer to fully-protected no-take areas. While the original designation of Gerstle Cove permits some very limited commercial take it has been, in name, perception and practice, a marine reserve. See:
McArdale, Deborah A.; California Marine Protected Areas, California Sea Grant College System, La Jolla, CA 1997, pages 58-59.
13 Remarkably, we are unable to locate any peer-reviewed assessment of Gerstle Cove Reserve’s effectiveness. Anecdotal reports from many recreational divers are echoed in a Department of Fish and Game internal document, which was an appnedix to a preliminary draft of the Regional Profile, later removed (but available here online). On page 7, that document summarized those reports thusly: “Anecdotal information suggests that current protection within the Gerstle Cove State Marine Conservation Area has enhanced and provided for increased abundance of individuals of a variety of species. Qualitative surveys conducted shortly after (3 years) the MPA was established indicated an increase in the abalone population within the MPA... An expansion of the boundaries of the MPA would enhance the biological diversity that already exists, providing for a larger range of habitat protection.”
14 The last sea otter in Mendocino and Sonoma Counties was probably killed by 1840. The Russians found life at Fort Ross, largely built on trade in otter furs, untenable by 1839. Two good historical summaries online are: (especially the “More History” link)
15 Sea otters have been expanding their range slowly northward. The U.S. Geological Survey has conducted a regular survey of the sea otter population since 1983. In 2007 their survey bounds were Point San Pedro at the northern end of San Mateo County to Rincon Point near Carpinteria. Bob Breen informs us they repopulated the Fitzgerald Marine Reserve in the summer of 1999. See:
16 Ibid. Also, Ken Bailey has relayed first hand accounts of single otters exploring as far north as southern Mendocino County (personal communication, October 2007).
17 The Sonoma County Water Agency draws water from the Russian River and provides drinking water to the cities of Cotati, Petaluma, Rohnert Park, Santa Rosa, Sonoma, the town of Windsor, and the Marin Municipal Water District, the North Marin Water District, and the Valley of the Moon Water District. See:
18 Regional Profile, page 18.
19 Starr, R. M., V. O’Connell, and S. Ralston. 2004. “Movements of lingcod (Ophiodon elongatus) in southeast Alaska: potential for increased conservation and yield from marine reserves.” Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 61:1083-1094. And also:
Murawski, S. A., S. E. Wigley, M. J. Fogarty, P. J. Rago, and D. G. Mountain. 2005. “Effort distribution and catch patterns adjacent to temperate MPAs.” ICES Journal of Marine Science 62:1150-1167. Science on the “spillover effect” of marine reserves is not conclusive. These papers suggest, via observation of fish and fishing behavior, that the effect may be occurring.
20 National Park Service, Point Reyes National Seashore website.
21 DeSante, D. F., and P. Pyle; Distributional Checklist of North American Birds. Artemisia Press, Lee Vining, CA, 1986. Determined by comparison of species count at Point Reyes with those of 40 individual states.
22 National Park Service, Point Reyes National Seashore website.
23 Ibid.
24 Ibid.
25 Ibid.
26 Regional Profile, page 5.
27 National Park Service, Point Reyes National Seashore website.
28 Evens, Jules G. 1993. The Natural History of the Point Reyes Peninsula. Point Reyes, California: Point Reyes National Seashore Association, page 40.
29 Dana, Richard Henry, Two Years before the Mast (New York: Bantam Books, 1959), p. 293
30 Today, 2,000 sea otters represents about two-thirds of California’s entire population. None reside within the San Francisco Bay. For over a century, sea otters were belived to have been hunted to extincion. In 1938 a group was re-discovered along the Big Sur coast. The numbers have climbed unsteadily from under 1300 in 1983, and in 2007 re-gained the 3,000 level for the first time. See: and
31 The Fish Bulletin has been in continuous publication since the first edition of 1913. The California Department of Fish and Game took over its publication soon after its inception. Bulletin #1 can be found online at:
32 Dr. William J. Sydeman, personal communication, February 2008.
33 Regional Profile, page 5.
34 Regional Profile, page 30.
35 U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Farallon National Wildlife Refuge Restoration Project, background document, May 2006. Found online at
36 Regional Profile, page 5.
37 Regional Profile, page 31.
38 White, Peter; The Farallon Islands: Sentinels of the Golden Gate (San Francisco: Scottwall Associates 1995).
39 NOAA, Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary Draft Management Plan (2006), cited in Regional Profile, page 43.
40 All observed by the author on dives at the Farallones during July, 1998, except shortbelly rockfish. They are cited as common there by The California Department of Fish and Game, California’s Living Marine Resources: A Status Report, December 2001. Available online at
41 Sydemann, William J. and David G. Ainley; “Marine Birds in the California Current Ecosystem: Contributions to U.S. GLOBEC’s Goals” U.S. Global Ocean Ecosystems Dynamics Newsletter #7, August 1994. Online at:
42 Observation of the author on dives at the Farallones during July, 1998.
43 Regional Profile, page 31.
44 Bob Breen, personal communication February, 2008.
45 McArdale, Deborah A.; California Marine Protected Areas, California Sea Grant College System, La Jolla, CA 1997, page 102.
46 Range and native species surveys both reported by Bob Breen, personal communication February, 2008.
47 Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary website, October 2001,
48 U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, “Apex Houston Oil Spill Restoration Plan, Notice of Availability” Federal Register, Vol. 60, No. 81, April 27, 1995. Online at: Houston Final Report.pdf
See also U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service website “San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge Complex,”
49 Bob Breen, personal communication December, 2007. The two stars are Leptasterias hexactis and Leptasterias pusilla. The latter was described by Ed Ricketts as “A dainty little six-rayed seastar with a total arm spread usually under 2 cm” in his seminal volume, Between Pacific Tides.
50 Bob Breen, personal communication December, 2007.
51 Bob Breen, personal communication December, 2007 and also
Ralph, John C., George L. Hunt Jr., Martin G. Raphael, and John F. Piatt; Ecology And Conservation Of The Marbeled Murrelet. USDA Forest Service General Technical Report PSW-152, 1995.
52 Bob Breen, personal communication December, 2007.
53 Regional Profile, pages 21-22.

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