Map of La Jolla Marine Protected Areas

Several areas in the La Jolla region have been set aside as marine protected areas (MPAs). Historically, the first MPA in the area was the San Diego Marine Life Refuge established in 1957, which included the Scripps Coastal Reserve, a part of the University of California Natural Reserve system. It extends from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography pier northward. The Matlahuayl State Marine Reserve, formerly known as the San Diego-La Jolla Ecological Reserve, is a small no-take reserve on the northern end of the La Jolla rocky coastline that was established in 1971. It extends from the SIO pier south to La Jolla Cove, a popular swimming area. The South La Jolla State Marine Reserve is located along the coast of southern part of the La Jolla peninsula. The South La Jolla State Marine Conservation Area is the offshore area directly west of the South La Jolla State Marine Reserve. Other protected areas are found to the north (Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve and San Dieguito Lagoon State Marine Conservation Area) and south of La Jolla (Cabrillo State Marine Reserve). These MPAs have a variety of use restrictions, but all recognize and seek to protect the biodiversity of this ecologically important region.

View our list of common, uncommon, and rare fishes collected from La Jolla (pdf)