Santa Monica Bay

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by proj08
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Environmental Studies

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Santa Monica Bay

General Description:

Santa Monica Bay

Swell sharks named comes from their ability to inflate their bodies twice their normal size. This is one by swallowing water, a defense strategy used to fight off predators such as: elephant seals and larger sharks. Swell Sharks can grow up to about three feet and live areas that stretch from Central California to Mexico. This shark is oviparous, the egg is made of keratin. After the egg is created, the mother shark swims off and the egg is left on its own to survive, this usually lasts about eight to ten months for the egg to fully develop into a juvenile shark that is about six inches long. Swell sharks often swim upside down first.

The ochre star is an animal with the amazing capability of regeneration, a sea star can grow a new body part (example: an arm) over the course of about a year. Ochre stars are more tolerant of air exposure than most – they can survive without water from six to eight hours during a low tide in their intertidal and rocky reef habitats.They’re found from Alaska to Baja California. They can grow from six to fourteen inches in length. An Ochre Star can use their sticky tube feet to pry open a meal, which includes: mussels, barnacles, snails, chitons and/or limpets.

The Pacific seahorse is one the largest known species and the only one found along the California coast. Pacific Seahorses swim vertically through the water column, their tiny fins flutter at a rate of 35 times per second. Its spines around the eyes move their eyes independently of one another.The spines on the top of a seahorse’s head look like a crown, this is why it’s referred to as a coronet. Each individual seahorse has a distinct coronet, “much like a human fingerprint”. Bony plates cover the seahorse’s body, there are no scales on this fish.The female seahorses place their eggs in the male’s pouch, where the eggs are fertilized and carried until the “fry” (the baby seahorses), hatch a few weeks later.

Santa Monica Bay a body of water located on the side of the Pacific Ocean in Southern of California. It’s considered to be part of the Pacific between Point Dume, in Malibu, and the Palos Verdes Peninsula. The western boundary of the Los Angeles Westside and South Bay regions is formed by the Eastern shore. At one time the Santa Monica Bay’s water supply was provided by the Los Angeles River however, now the only stream now flowing into the bay is Ballona Creek. Other estuary’s that drain into the bay include Topanga Creek and Malibu Creek.The Malibu Pier, Santa Monica Pier, Venice Pier, Manhattan Beach pier, Hermosa Beach pier, and Redondo Beach pier all extend into the bay. Santa Monica bay is a very popular fishing destination year round. However, at one point Santa Monica Bay’s water quality was very bad during the 20th century as the expansion of Los Angeles continued, large amount of sewage began to get dumped into the waters. The Bay is marine protected by the the Clean Water Act, Heal the Bay and Surfrider Foundation, which have helped improve the water quality from the early 1980s till today.

Ochre Star

(Hippocampus ingens)

(Cephaloscyllium ventriosum)

Swell Shark

(Pisaster ochraceus)

Pacific Seahorse

In the Santa Monica Bay, giant kelp grow in dense stands called kelp forests, which are home to many marine animals. M. pyrifera is the largest of all the algae. They are also one of the fastest organisms on earth. They can grow anywhere from 2 feet to 148 feet long. M.pyrifera is common along the coast of California to Alaska.

Giant Kelp

(Macrocystis pyrifera)


(Phyllospadix scouleri)

P. scouleri is common anywhere from Baja California to Alaska. They are vibrant green plants, that are slender with long flat blades. Growing in clumps on substrate they are rarely exposed to the surface, except in a low tide. Their pollen is spread through water movement, but also pollinate during low tides (by organisms and wind). A biodiversity of invertebrates (snails, limpets, etc.) are abundant in the P. scouleri's beds.

Z. Marina prosper in cooler water in the Pacific and Northern Atlantic. This plant is important to the ecosystem because it helps form habitats for other organisms. The plant's population has been damaged due to the turbidity in the water. The plant requires large amounts of sunlight to grow, but some have adapted to low sun lit areas. Z. marina also are a food source for many of the marine life in the bay.


(Zostera Marina)

"Heal the Bay." Animals. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Mar. 2014."Santa Monica Bay." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 14 Mar. 2014. Web. 24 Mar. 2014."Puget Sound Shorelines: Species - Eelgrass." Puget Sound Shorelines: Species - Eelgrass. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Mar. 2014."Kelp Forests." Kelp Forests. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Mar. 2014."Surfgrass Adaptations." Surfgrass Adaptations. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Mar. 2014.

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