Connecting Communities. Protecting Nature.

OUR VISION is a world where biodiversity is preserved and people act to conserve nature and embrace it as central to a healthy community.

OUR MISSION is to protect and restore the resources of San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve, its watershed, and related ecosystems for the benefit of current and future generations.

To further this mission, we:

  • engage and educate the community about the value of the reserve to promote ecological literacy and environmental responsibility
  • conduct scientific research to advance restoration planning and conservation science
  • design and implement ecological management plans
  • manage and acquire land and easements; and
  • collaborate with the community, organizations, and government agencies.


San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy demonstrates an ongoing commitment to:

  • Environmental Stewardship
  • Scientific Integrity
  • Education
  • Innovation
  • Collaboration
  • Ethical Leadership & Practices



The Conservancy owns several parcels within the 979-acre reserve. These lands are acquired for the protection of threatened and endangered species. We work with private property owners and local jurisdictions to minimize development impacts on lands and waters adjacent to the Escondido watershed.



We inspire stewardship of the natural environment. Naturalists lead tours for school children, the public, and community groups. Visit our complete calendar of all-ages events. Educators can view resources for science-based field trips and engaging kids in nature here at the lagoon.



A biological management plan for continued restoration of the reserve includes annual breaching of the lagoon’s inlet to create natural tidal flushing. We cultivate native plants and tackle invasive plant control. Lagoon Platoon is our volunteer community habitat restoration program that meets weekly and in monthly events for reserve enhancement.

Conservancy scientists are in the field monitoring the conditions of six plant communities, water quality, and wildlife. These data contribute to the Southern California Coastal Wetlands Recovery Project (collaboration of 19 agencies and 5 coastal counties of Southern CA) and to strategic planning for restoring San Elijo Lagoon.