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Cape Falcon Marine Reserve

If the National Park System was “America’s best idea,” then marine reserves might be humanity’s best idea. The wave of extinction that we are currently spreading through the world’s oceans is unprecedented in the fossil record and will impact the health of marine ecosystems for millions of years. Life on Earth would be severely diminished if ocean ecosystems were to collapse—and one of the species that would suffer most would be us. By protecting biodiversity, marine reserves bolster the health of oceans and provide a bulwark against the rising tide of extinction.


Cape Falcon Marine Reserve preserves a storehouse of biological treasure for the future, while inspiring awe and wonder in people who visit its waters. The variety and abundance of life in the reserve is staggering. Kelp forests form swaying jungles beneath the waves; rocky reefs teem with creatures as gorgeous and strange as sealife found around tropical corals. In the cold, productive currents of the Cape Falcon Marine Reserve, hermit crabs scurry between stones, whales rise up from green depths, seabirds swoop along cliffs, and seals sun themselves on boulders. From fish that camouflage their bodies by changing color to chitons so bright they seem painted by artists, many compelling species can be seen in tidepools and along shores, where land and water merge. This dynamic space produces endless surprises. Sunlight shafts through rainforest mist. Waves curl across tablelands of basalt. Drift logs sculpted by the sea wash up on rocks polished by surf. And life in its infinite variety and unending creativity swims and crawls and clings and flies along the ocean's edge.  

Opalescent Nudibranch
Cape Falcon
Alabaster Nudibranch and Giant Green Anemone
Pink Coralline Algae
Cape Falcon
Lined Chiton
Leopard Nudibranchs
Aggregating Anemones
Cape Falcon
Piddock Clam Siphon
Tidepool Sculpin
Boulders with Limpets
Purple Sponge
Cape Falcon Tidepools
Sea Star in Clouds and Snail Maze
Devils Cauldron
Driftwood at Falcon Cove
Sea Lemons
Sea Palm
Cape Falcon
Giant Green Anemone Eating Jelly
Oswald West
Oswald West
Porcelain Crab
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