WANDER WITH WILDCOAST: Marine Protected Areas


As we help address the COVID-19 crisis by sheltering in place, it’s important to take a break from the news and find some solace in the wild blue.

We thought you might enjoy our new series, WANDER WITH WILDCOAST, a weekly pictorial essay of our conservation in action that tells the story of our project sites and the precious resources we are protecting.

WILDCOAST is celebrating 20 years of conservation in 2020, so come wander with us and see what we’ve been up to.


Off the coast of California, from the Mexico to Oregon borders, lies the world’s largest network of underwater reserves.

545,280 acres of marine protected areas known as MPAs.

WILDCOAST helped develop this network, which was expanded in 2012, and since has been a major player in the ongoing conservation of these underwater wonderlands.

San Diego County has 17,779 acres of MPAs, which protect the rocky reefs of La Jolla, the Encinitas shoreline, the Tijuana River Mouth in Imperial Beach, and the bird-filled saltwater estuaries in Solana Beach, San Diego, Del Mar, Carlsbad, and Cardiff.

These vibrant and essential ecosystems are home to submarine canyons and towering kelp forests…

Rocky reefs and seagrass beds…

Habitats for sea lion colonies and seals…

And myriad fish, colorful gastropods, and fascinating wildlife. 

California’s network of 124 MPAs also helps protect and feed migratory species like gray whales, dolphins, sharks, turtles, and more.

They are also some of the best places for humans to play and engage with the wonders of nature.

WILDCOAST is dedicated to preserving ecosystems within these MPAs, which are home to some of California’s most iconic coastal places. We believe that our own health and wellness as a species is tied to the health of the planet, which is why WILDCOAST has helped to conserve more than 31.6 million acres of some of the most ecologically important coastline, wetlands, islands, and marine areas in both California and Mexico. 

We are at the frontlines of protecting natural places and open spaces.

In the words of biologist E.O.Wilson: “Nature holds the key to our aesthetic, intellectual, cognitive and even spiritual satisfaction.” 

Please stay safe and healthy in these challenging times.