Several years ago a friend and I went snorkeling in La Jolla, south of Los Angeles in San Diego. La Jolla has some of the best snorkeling and diving conditions in California. It was - well - amazing.
These bright orange fish are called Garibaldi. They are the official marine fish of California (meaning they are protected) and were there in abundance. Of course, it helped that we brought a bag of frozen peas, which Garibaldi love. The photo above was taken with a cheap-o underwater film camera 15+ years ago.
If there are Garibaldi off the coast of Los Angeles, I've never seen any. That's not to say they aren't there - I've just never seen them.
As an aside, I really tried to get my kids to embrace a Garibaldi as the mascot for their school. We homeschooled when we were in Los Angeles - so why not? Let's just say the idea got shot down. Oh well, I tried. Above: "Deepo" mascot of the Georgia Aquarium (2100 miles from Los Angeles).
Driving along the Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu last year, I noticed some large kelp beds about five miles from the city limits of Los Angeles. You can see the skyline of Santa Monica to the left, and the kelp beds to the right.
Here's a close-up. I'm no expert on the Santa Monica Bay, but I as a kid I don't remember seeing kelp beds this close into the city.
When we lived in Los Angeles, I had a chance to hear a professor at Cal State Northridge speak on Christian stewardship of the environment, including the idea that the ability to see and enjoy the creation helps point individuals to the Creator.
I'm wondering if kelp forests - and the abundance of sea life they allow - will eventually get re-established off the coast of Los Angeles. With a mask and snorkel, it'd give certainly give new meaning to the concept of experiencing Los Angeles. And enjoying the Creator's handiwork. Including the Garibaldi.
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