Abbotts Lagoon Restoration Project

Beach Morning Glory covered in dew. A plant native to the dunes, and specially adapted for them

The Point Reyes National Seashore is restoring hundreds of acres of coastal sand dunes that are home to many threatened and endangered species. This project is taking place on Ten Mile Beach, largely in the Abbotts Lagoon area.

European Beach Grass with dunes that have been cleaned in the background

I’ve been out there documenting what is happening, what it was, and what it will be. These images are for use by the park and for my own edification. It is a beautiful area that is threatened by two main invasive plants- European Beach Grass and South African Ice-plant.

South African Ice-plant. A non-native invasive species that crowds out natives

The restoral of the  dunes is a fairly involved process, as it is necessary to bury the invasives under at least three feet of clean sand (the smallest piece of root can grow a new plant, allowing the unwanted species to return.)

The project is further complicated by the fact that it is now nesting season for many birds, whose nests it is illegal to disturb, nit the least of which is the endangered Western Snowy Plover.

I visited the restoration area this past Sunday with one of the naturalist/biologists from Avocet Research and helped with a nesting survey. In addition to the areas where we found nests, we also came across two endangered Red-legged Frogs in vernal pools. Just because we were surveying for one thing, it didn’t stop us from recording and enjoying the presence of another.

Enjoy the images from this outing,


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About Galen Leeds Photography

Nature and wildlife photographer, exploring the world on his feet and from his kayak. Among other genres, he is one of the leading kayak photographers in Northern California. To learn more about him, visit him on his website-
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