California Travel Articles
Swimming with Dolphins in California
California’s Central Coast is home to a variety of marine life including several types of dolphins.
The Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS), a Federally protected marine area offshore of California's central coast, supports one of the world’s most diverse marine ecosystems. It is home to numerous mammals, including whales and dolphins.
Stretching from Marin to Cambria, the MBNMS encompasses a shoreline length of 276 miles and 5,322 square miles of ocean.
Warm water conditions in the Monterey Bay have attracted several species here from warm water areas, including the Long-Beaked and Short-Beaked Common Dolphins, normally seen from the Channel Islands south to Baja California.
These Common Dolphins congregate at the edge of the Monterey Submarine Canyon, where sardines, mackerel, and squid seem to be their primary attraction. Other dolphins and porpoises in the Monterey Bay include the Pacific White-Sided Dolphin, Rissos Dolphin, the Northern Right Whale Dolphin, the Bottlenose Dolphin, Dalls Porpoise, and the Harbor Porpoise.
The US government has prohibited swims with the dolphin activities in the marine sanctuary. There is only one swim with the dolphin activity center in California and that too in a private enclosure of a theme park owned by the Six Flags Marine World in collaboration with Ocean Discovery.
The new Caribbean-themed destination is the only place in Northern California where guests can personally interact with Atlantic bottlenose dolphins, southern stingrays and warm-weathered penguins.
The 2-acre area provides guests the opportunity to interact with and feed some of the world's natural wonders while learning about the animals and the importance of natural habitat conservation and protection.
Ocean Discovery provides interactive experiences with Atlantic bottlenose dolphins inside a custom designed 200,000-gallon pool where guests can have direct contact with the animals and their trainers. During designated times guests can touch and feed the dolphins with the assistance of the Park's veteran trainers. Additionally, visitors can enjoy the dolphins from an underwater viewing area.
Six Flags Marine World is located in Vallejo, California, off of Interstate 80, just 30 miles northeast of San Francisco, 50 miles southwest of Sacramento and near the Napa Valley Wine Country.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dolphin Swim provides detailed information about swimming with dolphins, including profiles of the best places to swim with dolphins: Florida, Hawaii, Cancun, California, Malta, Key Largo, and the Bahamas. For more information go to http://www.e-dolphinswim.com and/or visit our affiliate site at http://www.original-content.net.
by Thomas Morva