Can Kayaking in La Jolla Keep our Water Clean?

This is the fourth of a 10-part blog series examining the nature of ASBS, the threats they face and the actions we can take to protect these biological hotspots for future San Diegans.


Angela, co-owner of Hike Bike Kayak, looking for leopard sharks in Pinky, the kayak.

Hands down one of the coolest things about San Diego is kayaking in La Jolla.  In fact, when our staff first asked me for my bio for the website, they asked me to answer this question: “What is one thing I wish everyone knew about San Diego?” I promptly answered Adams Avenue Grill in Normal Heights, but kayaking in La Jolla came a very close second. I may be biased since I used to be a guide at Hike Bike Kayak Sports and spent nearly every day on the water teaching others to enjoy what I know now is an Area of Special Biological Significance, but it’s still downright awesome. And you should go . . . soon.

There are lots of scientists at Coastkeeper who can tell you why it’s so significant and special from an ecological point of view, and it’s all very impressive.  But as the only staff member with a bona fide college degree in Outdoor Recreation, what I can tell you is how amazing this area is for all of us to get out and enjoy.

I’ve kayaked so many places from remote Baja, the Amazon, Hawaii, and beyond, and I’d be hard pressed to say I enjoyed any of them more than some of my two hour tours in La Jolla.  I saw grey whales, green sea turtles, sea lions, common dolphins, bottle nose dolphins, blue sharks, angel sharks, a white shark, leopard sharks, limpets, shore crabs, garibaldi, sheapshead fish, harbor seals, skates, rays, guitar fish and the list goes on and on.  And the craziest part of it all is the area I kayak is less than 3 square miles and right outside a major city.

This is all in our backyard folks.  I implore you, if you haven’t already, wait for the tourists to leave, and sometime between Labor


Dave, co-owner, of Hike Bike Kayak and Water Quality Monitoring Volunteer, gets attacked by the elusive sand shark at La Jolla Shores.

Day and November, get down to my friends at Hike Bike Kayak for a tour.  And when you do, you’ll surely find a new appreciation for the biodiversity right here in San Diego.  With the fantastic guides still going strong at HBK, you will no doubt learn a lesson about how urban runoff continues to be the number one threat to our water quality in San Diego.  

When you come back with your new inspiration, hit me up ([email protected]) to get involved in protecting our ocean by joining a Coastkeeper program like our new Pollution Patrollers.  Hooray kayaking!