Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area

About the Park

Located adjacent to the city of Los Angeles, the second largest urban area in the United States, the Santa Monica Mountains represent one of the largest protected areas of the Mediterranean-type ecosystem. The Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area is part of the Mediterranean Coast Network that includes Channel Islands National Park and Cabrillo National Monument. Together, these parks protect some of the most significant examples of terrestrial Mediterranean-type ecosystems and coastal marine environments anywhere in the world. The climate of the Mediterranean ecosystem along with the diverse topography in the Santa Monica Mountains has created a landscape filled with unique natural resources. More than 1,000 plant species provide habitat for approximately 500 mammal, bird, reptile, and amphibian species.

Santa Monica Mountains

The Climate Friendly Parks Action Plan identifies steps that Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area plans to undertake to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and mitigate the park’s impact toward climate change. The plan presents emission reduction goals and associated reduction actions.  Strategies and action plan items were developed by working groups at the Mojave Desert and Mediterranean Coast Climate Friendly Parks Workshop. 

Emissions Profile

GHG emissions result from the combustion of fossil fuels for transportation and energy (e.g., boilers, electricity generation), the decomposition of waste and other organic matter, and the volatilization or release of gases from various other sources (e.g., fertilizers and refrigerants). 

In 2008, GHG emissions within Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area totaled 347 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MTCO2E). This includes emissions from park operations and visitor activities, including vehicle use within the park. For perspective, a typical single family home in the U.S. produces approximately 12 MTCO2 per year (U.S. EPA, Greenhouse Gases Equivalencies Calculators – Calculations and References, Retrieved; Website: Thus, the combined emissions from park operations, and visitor activities within the park are roughly equivalent to the emissions from the energy use of 30 households each year.

The graph below, taken from our Action Plan, shows our baseline emissions in 2008 broken down into sectors.



Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area is committed to reduce its overall GHG emissions by 50% by the year 2020.

To read more about what we are doing at Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area about climate change, check out our Action Plan!