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Snowy Plover

The Parks Division provides year-round maintenance on Leadbetter Beach, West Beach and East Beach. Sensitive biological resources exist on the beach, and maintenance activities are subject to permit conditions of federal and state agencies with jurisdiction over beach resources. Sensitive resources include the western snowy plover, California least tern, California grunion, tidewater goby, steelhead, and associated sensitive habitats. Wetland habitats are also protected and include the creeks and lagoons of Mission, Laguna, and Sycamore Creek and the Andrée Clark Bird Refuge and lagoon. Archaeological resources are also protected at the beach.

The Parks Division performs beach grooming by raking, cleaning, and recontouring sand with mechanical equipment. Prior to mechanical grooming, a biologist surveys the beach to observe and document species behavior and determine setbacks, if present. Mechanical grooming is limited to ten feet landward of the high tide line. Hand crews pick up debris along the beaches and creek mouths where mechanized equipment is restricted. These measures help avoid California grunion eggs deposited in the sand during spawning. This also avoids the kelp or wrack deposited on the beach from the ocean. Beach wrack provides habitat for the insects that provide food for the western snowy plover and other coastal bird species.

Last Updated: Feb 1, 2016