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

    Point Reyes

    National Seashore California

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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?

Four tidewater gobies (small brackish-water fish) in a hand. Credit: Cassandra Brooks/NPS.

Since the restoration of the Giacomini Wetlands in 2008, the tidewater goby--a federally endangered brackish-water resident fish species--has not only been observed in the newly restored channels and ponds, but in Lagunitas Creek, where it had previously not been documented since 1953. More...