Cabrillo Marine Aquarium

Creature Feature

Coastal Clean Up is Every Day!

This year we are supporting the California Coastal Commission's modification of Coastal Cleanup Day to Coastal Cleanup Month!

Make a difference from home!

Approximately 80% of the pollution in the ocean comes from land-based sources, which means, in part, from the streets, sidewalks and parks around your home. Help stop pollution at the source!

Join the California Coastal Commission each Saturday in September, from 9-12 noon, and beautify your neighborhoods with friends, family and neighbors (at a distance) by picking up litter.

Share your love of the ocean and your neighborhood on social media! Don’t forget to tag your photos! #cleanstreetcleanocean

Coastal Cleanup Resources:


  • California Coastal Commission
  • Every Saturday in September at your local happy place!
  • Important Safety Guidelines
  • Educators, get your students involved for school!
  • Heal the Bay
  • Coastal Cleanup Month
  • Ocean Conservancy
  • International Coastal Cleanup - learn about global efforts to clean the ocean

  • Use the Clean Swell or the Marine Debris Tracker Apps to record your cleanup efforts, share with your friends, and provide data for researchers!

  • Join Chester, the Sea Turtle, as he learns about trash in the ocean in this book written and illustrated by Zoe Lin for her Girl Scout Gold Project.


  • Creative Challenge #1

    Make a Difference! Given this year's unusual circumstances, it is a great time to reflect and share the ways that each of us can make a difference. Make a 1-3 minute video showing your cleanup efforts and explaining why YOU think cleaning your neighborhood is important and/or how YOU do your part to keep our oceans clean.

  • Creative Challenge #2

    Trash-A-Day: Show off your artistic flair and your commitment to a clean ocean! Pick up one piece of trash a day, and turn it into an Art Project! Make a photo collage, sculpture, mandala or anything your creativity brings to mind!

  • Trash Mandala
    Trash Collection
    Trash Collage

    Tag your Creative Challenge with #cleanstreetcleanocean to share your power!


    Did you know: You can help keep the ocean clean just by keeping your street clean!

    Living in the City of Los Angeles, you are living in 1 of 4 watersheds that drain into the Pacific Ocean; The Ballona Creek, Dominguez Channel, Los Angeles River Watershed, or Santa Monica Bay Watershed.

    Our natural waterways, in addition to our storm drain system and channelized rivers and creeks, allow storm water to quickly flow from our city streets. This can be helpful to prevent flooding but it also diverts a lot of usable water (and any pollution it picks up) quickly into the ocean.

    Trash, oil, chemicals, fertilizers and pesticides, even dog poop that is left on streets all have the potential to end up in our ocean.


    Watersheds are about where water flows.  Learn about your neighborhoods micro-watershed by taking a Watershed Walk and jotting down your findings in our Watershed Worksheet.


    Making less trash is key!


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    Southern California Species

    The Cabrillo Marine Aquarium is home to more than 200 species of animals that live in and around the waters of Southern California. Do you have a question about these and other Southern California species? Ask a Biologist.

    Cetorhinus maximus

    The basking shark is the second largest species of fish in the world.

    Prionace glauca

    The blue shark has one of the largest ranges of all species of sharks.

    Lythrypnus dalli

    These peaceful fish are often territorial with members of their own species.

    Sebastes paucispinis

    The bocaccio can live up to 45 years.

    Leuresthes tenuis

    Unlike other fish, grunion come completely out of the water to lay their eggs in the sand.

    Paralichthys californicus

    The California halibut is a flatfish with both eyes on one side of its head!

    Scorpaena guttata

    The California scorpionfish has venom in its spines.

    Semicossyphus pulcher

    The California sheephead are all born as females.

    Raja inornata

    The California Skate has a skeleton made completely out of cartilage.

    Alopias vulpinus

    The common thresher shark uses its long tail in a whip-like fashion to deliver incapacitating blows to its prey.

    Hypsypops rubicundus

    Garibaldi is the California State marine fish.

    Hypsypops rubicundus

    Garibaldi is the California State marine fish.

    Heterostichus rostratus

    The giant kelpfish can quickly change color during courtship or territorial displays.

    Stereolepis gigas

    This fish is huge, growing over 7.5 feet long and weighing over 500 pounds.

    Carcharodon carcharias

    The great white shark is capable of explosive bursts of speed and has been known to jump 3 meters (10 feet) out of the water.

    Heterodontus francisci

    The female horn shark lays a distinctive spiral-shaped egg case.

    Paralabrax clathratus

    Kelp bass reproduce by spawning (release egg and sperm into the water column) and form large aggregations in the summer months.

    Triakis semifasciata

    Leopard sharks are bottom feeders and are named because of their stripes.

    Gymnothorax mordax

    This eel's favorite prey is the octopus.

    Squatina californica

    The Pacific angel shark superficially looks like a ray, but is a true shark.

    Eptatretus stoutii

    Hagfish are considered to be the most primitive species of all living fish.

    Pacific Hake   Arrow
    Merluccius productus

    The Pacific hake can live up to 15 years.

    Scomber japonicus

    The Pacific mackerel is also known as the chub mackerel or blue mackerel.

    Sardinops sagax

    The Pacific sardine form large schools of up to 10 million fish.

    Hippocampus ingens

    The Pacific seahorse reverses traditional birthing roles.


    Xenistius californiensis

    These fish have an up-turned mouth to better eat plankton.


    Anisotremus davidsoni

    The sargo is the largest of the Pacific grunts.

    Isurus oxyrinchus

    The shortfin mako shark is able to elevate its body temperature almost 20°F above the surrounding water.

    Cephaloscyllium ventriosum

    When stressed, the swell shark can “swell” by inflating its stomach by swallowing water.

    Eucyclogobius newberryi

    The tidewater goby is an endangered species.

    Atractoscion nobilis

    The white seabass is the largest species of croaker in California.


    Creature Feature Archive

          3/9/2021 Coastal Clean Up is Every Day! (Featured)
          9/20/2020 Sea Otters
          9/1/2020 Plankton
          8/17/2020 Shark Week
          6/5/2020 Bony Fishes
          6/3/2020 Spring Outdoor Program
          5/23/2020 Birds
          5/15/2020 Whales
          5/8/2020 Salt Marsh
          5/1/2020 Rocky Shores
          4/23/2020 California Grunion
          4/15/2020 Celebrate Earth Day!
          4/7/2020 Sandy Beach Invertebrates
          3/11/2019 Channel Island Fox
          11/14/2016 Piddock Clam
          6/22/2016 Giant Pacific Seahorse
          3/2/2016 Spiny Sand Crab
          12/22/2015 Northern and Southern Tidewater Gobies
          9/16/2015 Tuna Crab
          6/17/2015 Snake Skin Brittle Star
          2/23/2015 Humboldt Squid
          12/15/2014 Allen’s Hummingbird
          5/17/2013 Killer Whale
          3/31/2013 Cowcod
          2/15/2013 Crystal Jelly
          11/1/2012 Risso's dolphin
          9/6/2012 Lacy Crust Bryozoan
          8/16/2012 California sheephead
          7/31/2012 Chitons
          7/17/2012 Splitnose rockfish
          2/28/2012 Green Sea Turtle
          12/26/2011 Gray Whales
          11/16/2011 California Brown Pelican
          8/23/2011 Oarfish
          2/21/2011 Pacific Mackerel
          6/28/2010 Football Fish
          3/3/2010 Grunion
          1/12/2010 E. coli, Oh My!
          7/22/2009 Cabrillo's Fossils
          3/9/2009 Garibaldi
          11/3/2008 Laysan Albatross