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Monterey Bay, California.

Monterey Bay is a bay of the Pacific Oceanmarker, along the central coast of Californiamarker. The bay is south of San Franciscomarker, between the cities of Santa Cruzmarker and Montereymarker.

The Monterey Bay Area, or sometimes The Central Coast, are local colloquialisms sometimes used to describe the whole of the coastal communities of Santa Cruzmarker and Montereymarker Counties.


The first European to discover Monterey Bay was Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo on November 16, 1542 while sailing northward along the coast on a Spanish naval expedition. He originally named the bay Bahia de los Pinos, probably because of the forest of pine trees first encountered while rounding the peninsula at the southern end of the bay.

On December 10, 1595, Sebastián Rodríguez Cermeño crossed the bay and bestowed the name San Pedro in honor of Saint Peter Martyr.

The present name for the bay was documented in 1602 by Sebastián Vizcaíno, who had been tasked by the Spanish government to complete a detailed chart of the coast. He anchored in what is now the Monterey Harbor on December 16, and named it Puerto de Monterey, in honor of the Conde de Monterrey, then viceroy of New Spain. Monterrey is an alternate spelling of Monterreimarker, a municipality in the Galicia regionmarker of Spainmarker from which the viceroy and his father (the Fourth Count of Monterrei) were from.

All other place names in the vicinity containing Monterey were so named because of their proximity to the bay. This includes the Presidio of Monterey, City of Montereymarker, County of Montereymarker and Monterey Canyonmarker.


The Monterey Canyonmarker, one of the largest underwater canyons in the world, begins off the coast of Moss Landingmarker, exactly in the center of Monterey Bay.

Flora and fauna

Monterey Bay is home to many species of marine mammals, including sea otters, harbor seals, and bottlenose dolphins; as well as being on the migratory path of Gray and Humpback Whales and a breeding site for elephant seals. Many species of fish, sharks, mollusks such as abalone and squid, birds, and sea turtles also live in the bay. Several varieties of kelp grow in the bay, some becoming as tall as trees, forming what is known as a kelp forest.

Communities around Monterey Bay

Clockwise around the bay, generally from north to south. Inland communities are indented:


Image:Old cannery on Monterey Bay.JPG|Monterey Bay seen with the old Cannery FoundationsImage:Beach Monterey.JPG|One of many beaches along the Monterey Bay coast lineImage:Montereybay.jpg|Monterey Bay as seen from Soquel, CAmarker. The Moss Landing power plant is visible in the distance.Image:SCUBA diving lessons.JPG|Scuba diving lessons in the bay, near Monterey, CaliforniamarkerFile:Montereybay2500ppx.JPG|Monterey Bay as seen from the Monterey Bay Aquariummarker.File:Montereybayview2500ppx.jpg|Monterey Bay as seen form the outer deck of the Monterey Bay Aquariummarker.

See also


External links

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