Monterey Bay Sanctuary: Serengeti of the Sea
Once the fishing and canning industries left Monterey Bay, it took decades of effort to protect the precious resource that remained. Finally in 1992, then Congressman Leon Panetta authored legislation that established the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. This "Serengeti of the Sea" offers some of the best wildlife viewing in the world, much of it visible from the California Coastal Trail that stretches along the Central Coast from San Francisco to Cambria. The sanctuary encompasses some 6000 square miles filled with beautiful beaches, crystal clear tide pools, lush kelp forests, steep canyons and an abundance of life -- from tiny shrimp to playful sea otters and giant blue whales.