Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary
Welcome to the Virtual Dive Gallery of Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Click on an image below to start your dive. These sanctuary views can be enjoyed on a personal computer or a smartphone. Pair your smartphone with a virtual reality headset or goggles of your choice (and click the ) for an extra-immersive experience.
Urchin-dominated systems are not quite barren
Purple urchins have undergone a recent population explosion, consuming kelp forests that once dominated the nearshore rocky reefs. Often called "urchin barrens", there are actually dozens of species still present, but densities are definitely reduced, and mobile species are often absent.