Rocky Shores Sandy Shores
Estuaries Soft-rock Reefs
Kelp Forests Ocean Surface
Rocky Offshore Bottoms Sandy Offshore Bottoms
Estuaries include salt marshes and eel grass beds, among the most threatened of habitats. Invertebrate species that live in estuaries could also be in danger of disappearing if these habitats are not protected. Salt marsh species include the Mud Nassa and California Horn Snail, which live on mud flats, and the Coffee Bean snail, which lives in the Pickleweed marsh. The Pacific Bay Scallop occurs in the eel grass beds in shallow water. The Japanese Mussel is an introduced species that has infested bays of the west coast and forms dense mats on bay bottoms.
Soft-rock Reefs are the home of boring clams of at least a dozen species in several families. On top of these reefs may be found rocky shore species. Jewel Boxes are more common here than in other rocky areas. Illustrated are both species, the Reversed and Agate Jewel Boxes, attached to each other. These specimens washed up in Del Mar in February.