Operational Changes Took Effect on May 1
The Lighthouse Visitor Center is now only open Fridays through Mondays; closed Tuesdays through Thursdays, including Thanksgiving. The Kenneth C. Patrick Visitor Center will be closed through late December, reopening weekends and holidays on December 28. More »
Visitor Center Winter Hours
Visitor Center Winter Hours took effect on Sunday, November 3, 2013. More »
Point Reyes National Seashore is a Class I park and air quality is generally good due to the prevailing westerly marine flows. However, during periods when atmospheric conditions displace the east Pacific high pressure system, air flows from the San Francisco Bay area can degrade the air quality of the seashore. This mainly occurs during the late summer and early fall, when the major atmospheric systems undergo a seasonal change. During this time, the seashore is often impacted by a general haze, which significantly impairs visibility.
Because ambient ozone levels at Point Reyes National Seashore are currently quite low, oxidant injury in vegetation is unlikely at the present time. If there were to be changes in the atmospheric patterns at the Seashore, there are approximately 37 plant and lichen species with known sensitivities to sulfur dioxide, ozone, and nitrogen oxides.
The National Park Service's Air Resources Division (ARD), in partnership with Colorado State University - Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere, produced an air quality podcast entitled "On the Air." This five minute web video provides an overview of air quality issues, research, and monitoring within the National Park Service system.
You can learn more at the ARD's Air Quality in Parks web site about how air pollution is affecting Point Reyes National Seashore and what the National Park Service is doing to address this issue.
Find out how pollutants including nitrogen, ozone, mercury, and fine particles affect resources such as streams, soils, and scenic vistas on the Air Resources Division's Point Reyes Air Pollution Impacts web page.
Scientific studies and monitoring are crucial to understanding the impacts of air pollution on the environment. Access air quality data and key references on the Air Resources Division's Point Reyes Studies and Monitoring web page.
Did You Know?
Harbor seals (Phoca vitulina) are present in the waters of Point Reyes year round. Every spring, approximately 7,000 harbor seals, or 20% of the mainland California breeding population, haul out on the beaches of Point Reyes. Look for them in the esteros and in Tomales Bay and Bolinas Lagoon. More...