San Elijo Lagoon and Dune Habitat Restoration Project

Location: San Diego County

Project Type: Restoration

Status: Current

Cost: 96,000

Project Footprint: 4 acres

Assembly District: 76

Senate District: 36

Congressional District: 49

Project Lead/Grantee: The Nature Collective

Project Lead Website:

The San Elijo Lagoon and Dune Habitat Restoration Project area is within the San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve and the Cardiff Living Shoreline in Encinitas, and includes the restoration of four acres within two critical coastal habitats: coastal dune and tidal marsh. Pocket areas need restoration and provide ideal opportunities for community engagement and participation. In addition, both habitat types have non-native and invasive species that require control and management, native plant species planting, including rare and sensitive species, and subsequent monitoring. The restoration efforts will focus on restoring pocket areas of disturbed habitat dominated by non-native or invasive species and areas with low vegetation cover. In some areas, such as those under the influence of tidal flow, allowing for natural colonization is often the best way to restore habitat. Volunteers installed nearly one hundred percent of the dune area plants under the guidance of Nature Collective staff, and their efforts have been very successful. Nature Collective will remove non-native plant species that continue to colonize this habitat and plant additional native species to provide better habitat for target wildlife species.

Nature Collective will perform some of the project work directly, but will also complete some of the project work by engaging over 200 volunteers in nine hands-on community restoration experiences during the project timeline.  Volunteer restoration activities will include removing invasive species, providing water to growing plants, monitoring flora and fauna, and planting seeds in a native plant nursery. Nature Collective will also provide transportation to students and families from 17 schools in Escondido to attend three of the community volunteer events.