2014 Harbor Seal Pupping Season Closures
From March 1 through June 30, the park implements closures of certain Tomales Bay beaches and Drakes Estero to water-based recreation to protect harbor seals during the pupping season. Please avoid disturbing seals to ensure a successful pupping season. More »
2014 Winter Shuttle Bus Operations Have Ended
March 30, 2014, was the last day for the 2014 Winter Shuttle Bus System. Sir Francis Drake Blvd. is open daily from now through late December 2014. More »
Operational Changes Took Effect on May 1, 2013
The Lighthouse Visitor Center is now only open Fridays through Mondays; closed Tuesdays through Thursdays, including Thanksgiving. The Kenneth C. Patrick Visitor Center is open on weekends and holidays when shuttles are operating. More »
Echinoderms are recognizable by their (usually five-point) radial symmetry, and include such well-known animals as sea stars (commonly called starfish), sea urchins, sand dollars, and sea cucumbers. The phylum Echinodermata contains about 7000 living species, twenty-one of which may be found in the intertidal zone at Point Reyes National Seashore.
Sea star wasting disease garnered media attention in late 2013 and early 2014. Sea star wasting disease is a general description of a set of symptoms that are found in sea stars. Typically, lesions appear in the ectoderm followed by decay of tissue surrounding the lesions, which leads to eventual fragmentation of the body and death. Scientists at UC Santa Cruz and partners are continuing to investigate a coast-wide die off of sea stars along the west coast of the US. There has been some evidence of wasting disease at Point Reyes this year and anecdotal declines in numbers of sea stars in some locations. However, it is unknown if these types of die-offs are relatively natural (there were similar events in 1983 and 1997) or how quickly populations can recover post-disease. For additional details, visit UC Santa Cruz's Sea Star Wasting Syndrome page.
Did You Know?
The rich, lush environment of Point Reyes heavily depends on the fog. During rainless summers, fog can account for 1/3 of the ecosystem's water input. But recent studies have indicated that there has been about a 30 percent reduction in fog during the last 100 years here in coastal California. More...