Santa Cruz Ecotour

Map of all the EcoTour Stops: From The Seymour Center to the Santa Cruz Harbor.
Map of the ten EcoTour stops: From The Seymour Center to the Santa Cruz Harbor.

Discover the Santa Cruz Wharf: a century-old structure with vibrant fishing history, thriving marine life and modern-day scientific research facilities. The Wharf is the only structure in the US that stretches over a half mile into a national marine sanctuary. Discover greater Santa Cruz: several natural history museums sprinkled throughout Santa Cruz help you understand the area’s natural history and beauty.

A screen shot of the stops and the interactive map feature in the self-guided mobile tour.
A screen shot of the stops and the interactive map feature in the self-guided mobile tour.

The EcoTour takes you to five stops on the Wharf as well as five spots off the Wharf! This tour was created in collaboration with the City of Santa Cruz, the Seymour Marine Discovery Center and the University of California Santa Cruz as part of the Green Wharf Project. We highlight a few stops below but all of them can be read by downloading the mobile app, Mobile Ranger Guides.

The current Santa Cruz Wharf was built in 1914 and was a good design as it has lasted over 100 years!

The Santa Cruz Wharf in 2014. Photo © Archer Koch of MultiRotorCam.
The Santa Cruz Wharf in 2014. Photo © Archer Koch of MultiRotorCam.

The Santa Cruz Wharf generates some of its own electricity thanks to the Green Wharf Project.

The CERF wind turbine from the water. Picture © Tiffany Wise-West/UCSC.
The Coastal Energy Research Facility wind turbine from the water. Picture © Tiffany Wise-West/UCSC.

The wharf is also an oceanographic sampling site. The UCSC Kudela Lab of Biological Oceanography takes water samples from the wharf every week. They samples for phytoplankton and records the water color.

Pictures of water taken from the wharf (left and middle) and out in the bay during a red tide (right) caused by Akashiwo. Images courtesy of the Raphael Kudela Lab UCSC.
Pictures of water taken from the wharf (left and middle) and out in the bay during a red tide (right) caused by a phytoplankton called Akashiwo. Images courtesy of the Raphael Kudela Lab/UCSC.

Big Harbor Dreams: In Santa Cruz from the mid-1850s to 1940 the general vision was to be a “Great Seaport.” It never happened, though a small craft harbor was built in and opened in 1964.

The Santa Cruz Harbor.
The Santa Cruz Small Craft Harbor—this is it’s official name. Photo courtesy of and © Paul Babb.

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Go to Mobile Ranger Guides in the Apple App Store
Go to Mobile Ranger Guides in the Google Play Store

About The Author

I really enjoy field trips. I love being in a cool place and having someone tell me about it. The problem is, you can’t always find a professor or park ranger-type to tell you all they know about the local rocks, plants, and history. So I decided to combine my love of things natural with mobile technology.

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