MPA Mondays: Point Lobos

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Point Lobos Denis Lincoln

Photo by Denis Lincoln

Point Lobos, the “crown jewel” of California’s State Parks, is one of our most treasured Marine Protected Areas on the Central Coast.  Named for the offshore rocks at Punta de los Lobos Marinos (Point of the Sea Wolves), where you can hear the barks of the California Sea Lions who call this area home, Point Lobos is a place of wonder.

Point Lobos is an area rich with local fishing history.  A few of the original buildings still stand today, you can even visit a cabin used to house workers from an old whaling station that operated from 1862 to 1879.
“The Carmel Bay Whaling Company was operated by a group of Portuguese seamen from 1862 until 1879. In California there were only 16 shore whaling stations between 1854 and 1900, with only about 300 men involved.”-Point Lobos State Park Webite

Point Lobos Diving Jim Patterson

Photo by Jim Patterson

Where visitors now park, an abalone cannery once operated.
“Around 1899, a young marine biologist from Japan, Gennosuke Kodani, and recent land owner, Alexander Allan established an abalone cannery which was located at what is now the Whalers Cove parking area. The cannery was so successful it eventually accounted for 75% of the abalone sold in California. It stayed in operation until 1928, and was dismantled in 1933 when the property became a state reserve.” -Point Lobos State Park Webite

Point Lobos is well known for sightseeing, photography, painting, nature study, picnicking, SCUBA diving, and jogging.  Not to mention every aspect of its resources is of scientific interest. There are many rare plants, endangered archeological sites, unique geological formations, and incredibly rich flora and fauna of both land and sea which made it an ideal place to protect.

In September of 2007, Point Lobos became a Marine Protected Area to provide a safe sanctuary for the abundance of biodiversity underwater.

Point Lobos MPA

Photo by http://www.californiampas.org/

The red part of the map above shows the State Marine Reserve where there is no fishing or harvesting allowed of any kind.  The blue section in the map shows the State Marine Conservation Area where take of all living marine resources is prohibited except the recreational and commercial take of salmon, albacore and commercial take of spot prawn.

Point Lobos is a very popular place for local scuba divers.  Recently, a few divers had an amazing encounter with an octopus.  If you are interested in going, be sure to make a reservation before you go.

If you are enchanted with this special place, plan an adventure to Point Lobos State Park, you will not be disappointed!

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