But as Harry Helling, president and CEO of Crystal Cove Alliance puts it, "Like our human populations, some live here all the time, while others just pass on through.
From December to April, gray whales can be seen as they make their 12,000-mile migration from the Bering Sea to Baja California.
mentions that it is also possible to see orcas, fin whales, humpbacks, Risso's dolphins, warm water yellowfin tuna, certain species of jellyfish and the giant Humboldt squid passing through regularly, seasonally or just occasionally due to variations in water temperature or feeding patterns.
"When we talk about marine habitat, we always include dozens of bird species too-gulls, sandpipers, plovers, herons-that migrate along what is known as the Pacific Flyway," Harry
An important part of the ecosystem that lives here year-round is the plankton.
"The weight of the microscopic life far outweighs all of the larger animals, and it's important that any discussion about marine ecosystems includes plankton," Harry
"Living and growing off Crystal Cove
are many of the small filter feeders that depend on the rich plankton including mussels, clams, barnacles and small fish like sardines and grunion.
According to Harry
, other microscopic life that can be found includes copepods, larval crabs and barnacles, dinoflagellates and fish eggs that thrive in the water here partly because of the nutrients that occur from either land runoff or upwelling (being brought up from the ocean bottom).