• The Point Reyes Beach as viewed from the Point Reyes Headlands

    Point Reyes

    National Seashore California

Environmental Factors

Nature and Science

Ocean storms shape the coastal landscape

Environmental factors shape the landscape, habitats, and species of Point Reyes National Seashore. Sometimes environmental changes are part of the natural processes that have always driven change to the peninsula (geologic activity) and sometimes these changes are natural processes that have been modified by human activity (fire regime and global climate change). Several of the environmental factors are being monitored by either National Park Service staff or researchers from other agencies or universities. The goal of monitoring is to gather information for its’ inevitable use in science-based decision making.

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Fog-filled valley with yellow twilight glow over a ridge in the background. © John B. Weller.

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...