From the Santa Cruz County Government page:

Santa Cruz County is located on the California coast, situated at the north end of the Monterey Bay. The County Government Center is located at 701 Ocean Street in the City of Santa Cruz.  With 446 square miles, Santa Cruz County is the second smallest county by area. (San Francisco County is the smallest in California.)

Santa Cruz County is situated at the northern tip of Monterey Bay, 65 miles south of San Francisco, 35 miles north of Monterey, and 35 miles southwest of the Silicon Valley. Its natural beauty is present in the pristine Beaches, lush redwood forests, and rich farmland. It has an ideal Mediterranean Weather and Climate with low humidity and sunshine 300 days a year. There are four incorporated cities within Santa Cruz County. By size they are: City of Santa Cruz, Watsonville , Scotts Valley , and Capitola. Santa Cruz County is the 37th most populated county in California. Santa Cruz County has about 589 people per square mile as of 2010.

Santa Cruz County is the gateway to the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, has 29 miles of Beaches and includes six state parks and six state beaches. Its quaint shops and Restaurants, coupled with a multitude of cultural and recreational activities, including Sailing, Fishing, Golf, Tennis, and Hiking, provide a wealth of leisure activities. The State of California" owns and maintains 42,334 acres of parks in the coastal and mountainous areas of Santa Cruz County. The County maintains an additional 850 acres of parks. Cultural amenities include the Santa Cruz County Symphony, the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, Shakespeare Santa Cruz, the Museum of Art and History, the University of California Performing Arts Center, and the Henry J Mello Center.

Santa Cruz County’s strong local economy is anchored by vibrant high technology, agriculture, and tourism, and the school system includes Cabrillo Community College and the University of California, Santa Cruz. Santa Cruz also hosts the Long Marine Laboratory, the Lick Observatory, the National Marine Fisheries service, and the Oiled Wildlife Veterinary Care and Research Center.

Santa Cruz County is served by the San Jose International Airport, the San Francisco International Airport, Oakland International Airport, Monterey Peninsula Airport, and the Watsonville Municipal Airport (for more private airports, see Airports). Freight Rail access is provided by Union Pacific Railroad, with a railhead at Watsonville Junction. No passenger rail trains go through the county, except sightseeing trains at Roaring Camp Railroads.

Per capita personal income is $26,396. The median income is $53,998. Median value for owner-occupied Housing is $377,500. Santa Cruz County Government has a workforce of 2,669 employees in 20 agencies and departments and an annual budget of approximately $317 million.

The County is governed by the Board of Supervisors and is divided into five voting districts: First Supervisorial District, Second Supervisorial District, Third Supervisorial District, Fourth Supervisorial District, Fifth Supervisorial District.

Air quality and pollution is monitored by the Monterey Bay Unified Air Pollution Control District, a governmental body the county joined in 1968.

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