Lover’s Cove State Marine Conservation Area (SMCA) is located near the town of Avalon on Santa Catalina Island. Crowds of scuba divers, snorkelers, boaters, and wildlife enthusiasts frequent the sheltered marine protected area (MPA) to enjoy the clear water and abundant marine life, away from heavy waves and surf. This small MPA covering less than a tenth of a square mile contains rocky shoreline, beaches, reefs, and towering kelp forests to depths of over 180 feet.
Situated on the calmer, southeastern side of Santa Catalina Island in Avalon Bay, this MPA is home to kelp bass, California sheephead, garibaldi, señorita, moray eels, horn sharks, marine mammals, and invertebrates. The suite of marine life found in Santa Catalina Island’s kelp forests makes them one of the most biodiverse environments in Southern California.
It is unlawful to injure, damage, take, or possess any living, geological, or cultural marine resource, EXCEPT:
Recreational take by hook-and-line from Cabrillo Mole only is allowed. Feeding of fish for
marine life viewing is allowed.
California Code of Regulations Title 14, Section 632(b)(128)
MPA size: 0.06 square miles
Shoreline span: 0.4 miles
Depth range: 0 to 188 feet
- Rock: 0.01 square miles
- Sand/mud: 0.06 square miles