At Cardiff State Beach, in San Diego’s North County, restored coastal dunes are roped off, protecting fragile habitat from human feet.
Signs posted on the perimeter explain the “constructed dunes” and Our Living Shoreline.
One sign explains that coastal dunes provide a natural buffer against waves, tides and storms in winter.
Made resilient with native vegetation, the dunes provide important wildlife habitat and protect San Elijo Lagoon from flooding.
The roped dunes at Cardiff State Beach constitute a snowy plover and least tern preserve. These birds have decreasing populations, largely due to development, recreation and other human activity. The birds nest in vulnerable bowl-like depressions in the sand.
A second Our Living Shoreline sign concerns native coastal scrub and dune plants. Among these are sand-verbena, beach evening-primrose and woolly-heads.
The plants provide cover and food for native and migrating birds.
This colorful information sign, near the entrance to South Cardiff State Beach, concerns California’s kelp forests.
The underwater “Hidden Forest, Rich with Life” can be viewed from the shoreline as floating brown-green patches of seaweed.
The kelp plants hold to the ocean floor and stretch up 100 feet or more. They support an unseen world teeming with life, including diverse fish, marine mammals, sea slugs, sea stars, sea anemones and spiny sea urchins.
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