California’s scenic shoreline is admired around the world for its beautiful waters and breathtaking landscapes. Beyond the shoreline, the Pacific Ocean is a swath of moody blues and hosts a variety of landscapes including deep-sea canyons, kelp forests, rocky reefs, tidal pools, wetlands, and coastal estuaries. Each of these landscapes offer a niche for wildlife to thrive and together are home to billions of fish, mammals, and birds.
The California Seas and Shores tapestry looks to celebrate the coastal region of California and showcases wildlife that are widely known by locals and tourists alike, are key economic exports of California, or are small treasures you can only find when you look closely at what the coastline has to offer. The tapestry moves from the deep sea, to coastal waters, to tide pools, and finally to the shoreline. It was impossible to fit all wildlife from each ecosystem onto the tapestry but the ones selected are either recognizable and beloved, or hold a special place in my heart from my time growing up along the coast.
Below is a list of the species represented on the California Seas and Shores tapestry listed from top to bottom. I hope the tapestry inspires you to explore beyond what you are familiar with and helps you recognize the beauty in the California coastline.
Giant Pacific Octopus - Enteroctopus dofleini
California Sea Lion - Zalophus californianus
Bullwhip Kelp - Nereocystis luetkeana
Pacific Sea Nettle - Chrysaora fuscescens
Pacific Coast Squid - Loligo opalescens
Ochre Sea Star - Pisaster ochraceus
Sea Otter - Enhydra lutris
Giant Kelp - Macrocystis pyrifera
Pacific Sardine - Sardinops sagax
Branching Coralline Algae - Corallinales spp.
Common Gull - Larus canus
California Mussel - Mytilus californianus
Black Turban Snail - Tegula funebralis
Channeled Dog Winkle - Nucella canaliculata
Purple Sea Urchin - Strongylocentrotus purpuratus
Tidepool Sculpin - Oligocottus maculosus
Sand Dollar - Dendraster excentricus
Western Snowy Plover - Charadrius nivosus
Purple Shore Crab - Hemigrapsus nudus
Beach Primrose - Camissoniopsis cheiranthifolia
Seaside Daisy - Erigeron glaucus
Thrift Seapink - Armeria maritimaBeach Sand Verbena - Abronia umbellata