Protected Waters: Exploring La Jolla

Join female filmmakers and producers Jennifer Idol and Alex Rose as they dive into Southern California's many marine protected areas.

Much like national parks on land, MPAs provide a refuge for nature in the ocean and places for people to enjoy the natural beauty of these ecosystems. California is home to a unique network of 124 MPAs created to protect our valuable ocean resources.

Jennifer and Alex were initially drawn to La Jolla because of its Leopard Shark aggregation, but as their travels progressed, they encountered an exciting range of local marine creatures - some expected, some unexpected - but all valuable. They discovered that the region’s MPAs support vastly more species than they set out to film and that without their protected status, none of this complex marine ecosystem would persist.

The filmmakers

Jennifer Idol
Jennifer Idol

Jennifer Idol, an expert in diving, design, and photography, connects people to the natural world. She showcased local waters in her book, An American Immersion, a quest in which she became the first woman to dive 50 states. She's published in DIVER, SCUBA Diving, and Alert Diver. She is also recognized as a PADI® Ambassadiver (2017 and 2018) and is an Explorer’s Club Fellow. Jennifer helps others experience wildlife encounters as an expedition leader for trips with Big Fish Expeditions that include whale sharks, sperm whales, humpback whales, and tiger sharks. She’s also a core team member and experimental diver for Avelo and created the photography, videography, and communications for this new dive system.

Alex Rose

Alex Rose   

Alex Rose holds B.S. in Biology, a M.S. in Aquatic Biology, and has a wide variety of experience in the biological sciences. She is a professional violinist, photographer, and lover of all things aquatic. She is currently working as the Science Editor and a principle writer for Ocean Geographic Magazine and is the Managing Editor of Ocean Geographic Explorers. She is a freelance science writer and editor as well. Alex also composes violin pieces for use in ocean themed films and exhibitions. Her driving goal is to find ways to protect our world’s precious marine habitats through diving, writing, photography, education, and research.

Featured in Thunder Bay International Film Festival

Where to see our films

We're sharing our film at film festivals to reach audiences we know would benefit and enjoy learning about the important waterways we feature. Following our film circuit, we will publicly release the film and provide information on how to view this series that celebrates protected waters.

Contact us to support our filmmaking or collaborate on a production.

Protected Waters: Exploring Laguna Madre


Join Alex Rose and Jennifer Idol on an adventure in the world's largest hypersaline lagoon, the Laguna Madre in south Texas. They share glimpses into this diverse ecosystem and the important life it supports such as the critically endangered Kemp's Ridley sea turtle.

Protected Waters: Exploring Yellowstone


The world’s first national park inspired the creation of 60 more parks in the United States and hundreds of parks in more than 100 countries. From geysers and hot springs to glacial lakes, water has defined the park and filled it with some of the strangest lifeforms. Alex Rose and Jennifer Idol dive beneath the waters of Yellowstone Lake to see unusual and lesser known geothermal features and the strange life they support.

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