• Local Time Webcam highlights shown outside daylight hours
  • Location: Anacapa Island, Channel Islands National Park, California
  • Source: Anacapa Kelp Forest Cam
  • Info: Live streaming webcam showing a kelp forest and marine life at Anacapa Island in the Channel Islands National park, California, United States. This underwater live webcam is positioned in the landing cove of Anacapa Island and gives rich views of the amber coloured kelp forest and the flourishing marine life which lives within it. Look out for the striking bright orange fish called Garibaldis.

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Anacapa Island is one of the Channel Islands and is a small volcanic island situated about 18kms off the coast of Port Hueneme in California. Part of the island is a State Marine Reserve and having had 10 years of protection within its boundaries, marine life is abundant both above and below water. Types of fish found there include giant sea bass, rockfish, surfperch, wrasse, garibaldis and sheephead. Other marine species include California spiny lobster, sea urchin, crab, squid and sea cucumber and bat rays.
Where the kelp forms a dense patch on the rocky reefs, it is referred to as kelp forests. One third of southern California’s kelp forests are found within the Channel Islands National Park and the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary. These kelp forests have both warm water currents from the south and cold water currents from the north which attracts an abundance of species – for example warm water species include the Garibaldi fish, California moray eel and the California spiny lobster and colder water species include black rockfish, red abalone and the sunflower star.
A wide range of marine mammals inhabit kelp forests for protection and food. The abundance of fish provides food for sea lions and seals. Sometimes there are grey whales present – probably sheltering from the predatory killer whale and feeding upon invertebrates and crustaceans. The kelp forest is also a safe haven for the sea otter, who takes refuge from sharks and storms. The sea otter eats the red sea urchin that can destroy a kelp forest if left to multiply freely.
Kelp forests are a natural food source for birds such as crows, warblers, starlings, and black phoebes which feed on flies, maggots, and small crustaceans that are abundant in kelp forests. Gulls, terns, egrets, great blue herons, and cormorants dine on the many fish and invertebrates living in the kelp. Anacapa Island has around 69 species of birds and has the largest breeding colony of the California brown pelican in the United States as well as the largest breeding colony in the world, of western gulls.