Seasons in the Sea - A month-by-month guide to Central California sea life
Month:
 
Monterey Bay; Image credit: NASA

Overview

for January and February

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Both on land and in the sea, January is the fiercest month of the year along the Central California coast. February is almost as stormy, but by the end of the month, we usually begin to see the first glimmerings of spring in the coastal waters.

In the coastal environments of the kelp beds, the tide pools, and sandy beaches, January and February are a time of attrition and "weeding out" by storm surf. Some weeding out also occurs in the open ocean because there is not much to eat at this time of year.

On the other hand, many animals in deeper water are busy reproducing. Other animals head into the sheltered waters of coastal estuaries to release their young. As they begin hunting for food, these young animals take full advantage of the flowering of life in the surface waters that begins in late February or March, with the onset of upwelling and spring diatom blooms.

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