Lagoon Platoon Volunteers plant native coastal sage scrub vegetation along Santa Carina trail.

REVITALIZING The Reserve With Community Conservation

Join the thrill of hands-on conservation in San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve with Lagoon Platoon. All the tools for restoration are provided, and gardening experience is not necessary. Each Lagoon Platoon event is led by San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy biologists, who oversee activities and will lead participants on tours of each restoration site. Refreshments are provided. You can help with native seed collection, planting, invasive weed removal, trail maintenance, and propagation efforts in the San Elijo Nursery
Have Time on Wednesday Mornings?
You can learn and apply technical habitat restoration practices while enjoying the beauty of San Elijo Lagoon. Wednesday volunteers are our stewards who work behind the scenes to prepare habitat sites throughout the reserve. 
Inquire: platoon [at] sanelijo [dot] org


RESTORATION Successes 2016
Your efforts benefit wildlife and create special places for our community.
January 16, 2016 Santa Carina 
Lagoon Platoon volunteers finished planting the restoration site started last month: 380 native coastal sage scrub plants were installed at our newest Santa Carina restoration site. Watering basins were constructed, plant protectors were placed, and the plants were watered in. Volunteers enjoyed a nature hike where we watched for birds and mule deer and learned about local wildlife. Thank you to everyone who helped install our newest Santa Carina restoration site!
February 20, 2016 Rios Trail
We had a beautiful day for our monthly restoration event along the Rios Trail in Solana Beach!  Volunteers split up into groups to tackle various tasks in the area.  One group was tasked with scraping graffiti off of a sandstone canyon that had been unfortunately vandalized.  Another group planted over 200 native coastal sage scrub plants in an area that had been degrading due to erosion and off trail hiking.  This was our first effort towards restoring this area, and there will be more restoration events in the future to finish the job.  Thanks volunteers!
March 19, 2016 Santa Carina
Lagoon Platoon planted over 500 native coastal sage scrub plants!  Volunteers rocked as we completed planting a new restoration site along the Santa Carina Trail in just over two and a half hours.  This site, formerly a non native grassland, now provides habitat for local wildlife.  Volunteers also enjoyed a nature walk where they learned about how our native plants are adapted to our mediterranean climate.
April 23, 2016 Creek to Bay Cleanup Day
San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy teamed up with I Love a Clean San Diego for the annual Creek to Bay Cleanup Day.  Over 100 volunteers came out to the Santa Carina Trailhead in Solana Beach to remove invasive species and debris.  Volunteers removed over 15 cubic yards of invasive plants from sensitive wetland habitats!  
May 21, 2016 Harbaugh Seaside Trails
It was a beautiful morning for restoration as volunteers met at the newly acquired Harbaugh Seaside Trails in Solana Beach.  This site was acquired in poor condition as has a long history of development.  The first step towards restoring the site is invasive plant removal, so volunteers focused on removing invasive crown daisy and sea lavender, both of which currenlty dominate the site.  Volunteers also enjoyed a docent-led nature walk where they used binoculars to learn about our native wetland birds. 
June 18, 2016 San Elijo Dunes (East of Hwy 101)
We had a very fun and unique event where volunteers helped expand rare coastal dune habitat. Sand taken from the San Elijo Lagoon inlet dredging was dumped onto an area adjacent to our existing dunes.  Volunteers armed with buckets, shovels, and rakes helped move and spread the sand to literally construct our newest sand dunes!  This rare habitat has been almost completely lost over the past century due to coastal development.  It a great opportunity to add these new dunes, as every acre counts!    Big thanks to Eagle Creek for donating travel gear that was raffled off to two lucky volunteers, and another thanks to Guayaki Yerba Mate and PerfectBar for donating food and drinks to fuel this event!
July 16, 2016 Annie's Canyon Trail
Volunteers met at the Rios Trailhead and hiked out to Annie's Canyon Trail to removed invasive plants from our current and future restoration sites.  We also split up to collect seeds from several species of native plants.  These seeds will be propagated at our native plant nursery and then planted back in the reserve at our restoration sites.  Volunteers also took a break from the work to hike the new Annie's Canyon Trail!
September 17, 2016 Manchester Avenue
Over 50 volunteers came out for the annual Coastal Cleanup Day to remove trash, debris, and invasive plants from the marsh habitats along Manchester Ave on the east side of the freeway.  Volunteers removed over 150 pounds of trash and 20 cubic yards of iceplant!  Thanks to I Love A Clean San Diego for partnering with us for this event.
October 15, 2016 Santa Carina Trailhead
In the first planting event of the new planting season, Lagoon Platoon planted over 500 natives at our newest Santa Carina restoration site.  300 of the plants came from our own nursery, where volunteers helped collect seed and propagate native plants for our restoration sites.  This was the first batch of plants to come from our nursery, and we are currently growing native plants for all of our planting events this season.  
November 19, 2016 Ford Wildlife Habitat Preserve
Volunteers planted over 400 native alkali marsh plants, over 150 of which came from our nursery.  We were joined by Teen Volunteers in Action and lots of community volunteers.  The restoration site at the entrance to Ford Wildlife Habitat Preserve is almost completely revegetated, and we'll be back to plant more next year!  

EVENTS are 3rd Saturdays 9 am-12 pm, unless otherwise noted.

APR 22

Partner: I Love a Clean San Diego
Register here

May 20
Coastal Sage Scrub Habitat Restoration and Seed Collection
Register here


Complete Minor Volunteer Information Form and bring with you.



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Joe DeWolf, Community Restoration Specialist
San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy
joe [at] sanelijo [dot] org | (760) 436-3944 x 709