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

    Point Reyes

    National Seashore California

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  • 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 »

Giacomini Wetland Restoration Project: Summary of Construction Under Phase I and II: Repairing the Levees Necessary Before Removal

 
The first step toward removing the levees actually involved repairing them. On July 2, the high tides caused a breach in the East Pasture that filled the northern portion of the carefully-dried pasture with water.
 
Breach in levee caused by high tides on the evening of July 2, 2008.
Breach in levee caused by high tides on the evening of July 2, 2008.
 
Flooded East Pasture

Flooded East Pasture

The levee breach caused the entire northern portion of the East Pasture to fill up with water. This happened only a few days before construction was scheduled to start. The Park Service had been carefully drying to ensure that the site dried—and remained dry—prior to construction.

However, water isn't the only thing that came in with the tide. When fisheries biologists went out into the East Pasture the next day, they noticed that the tides had brought in all sorts of creatures, including leopard sharks and bat rays.

 
Leopard shark (left) and bat ray (right)
Leopard shark (left) and bat ray (right)
 
An emergency rescue operation involving, at points, up to 20–25 people was conducted that day to capture the sharks using nets and to transport them to the creek and release them.
 
Biologists Michael Reichmuth and Sarah Minnick (left) capture sharks from the East Pasture after accidental levee breach for release into Lagunitas Creek (right).
Biologists Michael Reichmuth and Sarah Minnick (left) capture sharks from the East Pasture after accidental levee breach for release into Lagunitas Creek (right).
 

In addition, the contractor mobilized equipment within hours to fix the breach that day, working well into the evening hours to ensure that no further animals became entrained by the levees.

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Did You Know?

Humpback whale spout

Marine biologists have identified nearly a third of all known marine mammal species in the waters surrounding Point Reyes. Blue whales and humpback whales feed here during spring and summer months. Gray whales migrate past our shores twice a year on their round trip from Alaska to Baja. More...