• Stars appear behind a dramatic landscape of rocky mountains, rolling hills, and fields of grass

    Santa Monica Mountains

    National Recreation Area California

Coastal Salt Marsh

Coastal salt marsh occurs nearest the ocean where perennial water flows from inland sources. Plants in this community are adapted to a high concentration of salt, very little wave action and oxygen-depleted soils. Succulence, usually associated with desert vegetation, is a common characteristic of plants growing on the coastal salt marsh. Some representative plants include pickleweed (Salcornia sp.), dodder (Cuscuta salina), salt grass (Distichlis spicata), and sea blite (Sueda californica). Examples of this type of plant community in the Santa Monica Mountains can be found around Malibu and Mugu Lagoons.

Of an estimated 26,000 acres of original coastal wetlands, occurring from Santa Barbara to the border with Mexico, approximately 8,500 acres remain. This represents a 67 percent reduction in this community type. The dramatic reduction in area makes this community especially important in the Santa Monica Mountains.

Did You Know?

Watch the credits a the end of a film and you may discover how often national parks are used by the movie industry.

Unique vistas and cultural significance often draw filmmakers to National Parks. Paramount Ranch is the only place in the National Park System where you can see movie making in action at a historic movie ranch once owned by Paramount Pictures (1927).