| Climate | Geography | Flora
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The Pacific Marine ecozone begins at the British Columbia coast.
Protected by the Alaskan peninsula from cold Arctic waters, the temperature
of the ocean off of the Pacific coast varies remarkably little, both
across the ecozone at any one time and over the year. Ice is very rarely
found here, and then only seasonally in the north.
The rivers and fjords of the west coast bring nutrients to the waters,
and a major upwelling near the southern end of Vancouver Island provides
the nutrients for an extremely rich and diverse ocean community.
Macrocystis (giant kelp), coral reefs, and various seaweeds grow
here. Eelgrass is found in coastal salt marshes.
The waters here contain over 3800 species of invertebrates as well as
some of the largest vertebrates on the planet.
Many aquatic mammals swim in these waters, including sea
fur seal, northern
sea lion, longsnout
whale dolphin, pacific
white-sided dolphin, pacific
harbor porpoise, Dall's
and pacific right
A characteristic bird of prey over the waters is the osprey.
Many shorebirds and seabirds are found here, including rhinoceros
auklet, Brandt's cormorants,
and all manner of gulls, puffins, petrels, murres, and more.
Fish that can be found here include coastrange sculpin, pacific herring,
halibut, steelhead, dolly varden. Several species, including pacific
lamprey, river lamprey, green sturgeon, white sturgeon, pink salmon,
chum salmon, coho salmon, and sockeye salmon live in the ocean but enter
freshwater to spawn.
Three of the many crustacean species that live here are Caprella
banksia, and Metacaprella
This ecozone provides many benefits to the population that borders it
through fishing, shipping, tourism and water recreation. Unfortunately,
these activities have damaged the ecosystem through overfishing, pollution,
and habitat destruction.