California has 34 Areas of Special Biological Significance (ASBS). San Diego’s La Jolla Cove and Shores are home to one of them. The San Diego Basin Plan (our region’s Water Quality Control Plan) describes the process as:


The Regional Boards were required to select

areas in coastal waters which contain “biological

communities of such extraordinary, even though

unquantifiable, value that no acceptable risk of

change in their environments as a result of man’s

activities can be entertained.” These areas are

known as ‘Areas of Special Biological

Significance’ (ASBS).



states that this area is so rich in biodiversity that more stringent

protections need to be in place to safeguard this special place.

Safeguards that prevent urban runoff from polluting this area.


very recently took up scuba diving. The classes were held at La Jolla

Shores and I went again this weekend at La Jolla Cove. So far, I have

dove a total of 3 days, all in the La Jolla ASBS. Mostly I was concerned

with doing all the tests the instructor did, and trying to not die of

have any of my organs explode. But in the very short time I had to look

around here is what I was able to see down there:


• Dolphins

• Seals

• Sheep Crab – This thing was huge. Bigger than my head

• Halibut

• Grunion – A whole school swam overhead during the class. I admit I breifly stopped paying attention to the instructor and just stared at them

• Kelp Bass

• Opaleye

• Garabaldi

• Sheephead – One of these chased me around

• Señorita

• Blacksmith – A large school passed right over me. It was pretty awesome

• Stingray

While snorkeling afterwards I saw a bunch of Shovelnose Guitarfish and a ton of Leopard Sharks. The two things I still really really want to see are Octopus (the best sea creature – hands down) and Mantis Shrimp (seriously – click on this link to see how awesome these little guys are).


All of this in not a very long time out there. I am looking forward to doing even more explorations out in our ASBS. It is right here, no need to travel far.


I love my ASBS.