|Abalones, Barnacles & Sea Stars
||The Marine Life Observatory at Hopkins Marine Station occupies an exposed rocky headland, Mussel Point, also called Cabrillo or China Point. This headland has proven to be an excellent location for an institution devoted to biological research, with easy access to a rich diversity of habitats. The rocky intertidal is extensive, with offshore reefs and small islands readily accessible at low tide. Besides providing an area for the scientific study of marine invertebrates and algae, these reefs and offshore rocks, together with sheltered beaches, are an important sanctuary for harbor seals, sea otters, and a variety of shore birds. Farther offshore, submerged granite outcroppings provide substrate for an extensive kelp forest community. The range of subtidal habitats found near Hopkins is representative of the entire central California coast.