California Dreaming: Why the Golden State's coastline is one of the most unique in the world

Most Californians live just a short drive from the coast, yet many take this precious resource for granted
There's so much to do and explore in and along California's coastal waters. This unique coastline is part of what makes the Golden State so special.

But there are threats to this precious resource.

"California's coastlines are so unique in part because of the topography and in part because California is such a long state," said Michele Roest, a marine biologist at the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary and a professor at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.

"We take it for granted because we live here, but it is one of the most unique eco-environment systems in the world," said Roest. "We're recognized as a biodiversity hot spot and people come here to see species that they can only see here."

"Right off the coast here in Long Beach, you can reliably count on seeing gray whales, but California has populations of blue whales that migrate through," said Dr. Peter Kareiva, CEO and president of the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach. "Blue whales are the largest animal that ever lived. It's magical. There's not many places that are as developed as California is and yet you can see all these whales."

"We're very lucky in the state of California to have the Coastal Act, which was passed in 1976," said Graham Hamilton, the Los Angeles manager of the Surfrider Foundation. "It essentially enshrined the entire coastline of the state of California as part of the public commons.

"Helping people to understand that this is theirs, is a natural gateway to entering into a much deeper conversation about how they can help to protect it for future generations."

Our special docuseries "California Dreaming" explores the challenges, solutions and people striving to keep the Golden State great, and the California Dream alive. Download our app on Roku, AppleTV, FireTV or AndroidTV to watch the special now on your TV!
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