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

    Point Reyes

    National Seashore California

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  • Bear Valley Visitor Center Lighting Retrofit:

    Due to safety concerns during the installation of new LED lights, sections of the Bear Valley Visitor Center's exhibit area may be closed through the end of July. More »

  • The Kenneth C. Patrick Visitor Center will be closed on Saturday, July 26.

    We are sorry for any inconvenience, but the Kenneth C. Patrick Visitor Center at Drakes Beach will be closed on Saturday, July 26. It will open at 10 am on Sunday, July 27.

Marine Plants / Algae

Nature and Science

Marine algae in the intertidal zone

The name "algae" is given to a group of organisms of mixed affinity, but the word itself has no taxonomic significance. Not all algae are even found in the plant kingdom. Most algae do not have vascular tissue, a high level of organ differentiation, or protective layers of cells surrounding their reproductive structures. Most algae do make their own food through photosynthesis, although a few algae—such as Euglena—must locate and engulf their food. The size of algae range from tiny microscopic life to giant ocean kelps, and they live in the driest deserts, the coldest tundras, and all types of waters.

At Point Reyes National Seashore most algae are found on rock surfaces, covering the surface of ponds, and laced around the intertidal zone (marine algae).

View Algae and Marine Plants of Point Reyes National Seashore species list (23 KB PDF, Adobe® Acrobat Reader® required)

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Did You Know?

Humboldt Squid. © Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute.

Historically, the Humboldt squid were seldom found further north than Baja California. The squid then came north en masse during the 1997/98 El Nino and have maintained a fairly regular presence in the waters off of northern and central California--including Point Reyes--ever since. More...