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Point Reyes National Seashore Oceans

The Point Reyes peninsula is surrounded on three sides by the Pacific Ocean which dramatically affects the daily and seasonal climates, and numerous resident and migratory marine species. Besides the El NiƱo/ Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and Pacific Decadel Oscillation, the most significant oceanic impact on the peninsula is the seasonal upwelling phenomena. Upwelling occurs when nutrient-rich colder waters rise from deeper levels to replace the relatively warm surface waters, and as a result creates summer coastal fog. The transport and cycling of these nutrients to the surface are responsible for the high productivity around Point Reyes that supports a large diversity of species throughout the food chain and into the ecosystem.

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Maine Puffins
Maine Puffins


Maine ocean islands provide the only nesting sites for Atlantic puffins in the United States. Eastern Egg Rock in the midcoast region, Seal Island and Matinicus Rock at the mouth of Penobscot Bay, and Machias Seal Island and Petit Manan Island off the downeast coast provide habitat for more than 4,000 puffins each summer.