National Park Service

State of the Park Reports

State of the Park Report for Cabrillo National Monument

Chapter 3 - Summary of Key Stewardship Activities and Accomplishments

Old Point Loma Lighthouse
Old Point Loma Lighthouse at Cabrillo National Monument

The list below provides examples of stewardship activities and accomplishments by park staff and partners to maintain or improve the condition of priority park resources and values for this and future generations:

Natural Resources

  • The Tidepool Protection, Education and Restoration Program (TPERP) is a very successful collaboration between park staff and the Volunteers-In-Parks (VIP) Program to protect the fragile intertidal system and to provide school children and other park visitors with high-quality, park-based learning experiences. Participants are involved in monitoring of the tidepools and shorebirds, as well as protecting park resources and educating visitors.
  • The rocky intertidal monitoring program is 21 years old and has produced valuable long-term scientific data (e.g., Roy et al. 2003, Becker 2006, Sagarin et al. 2007, Pister et al. in prep).
  • The herpetological monitoring program has been conducted steadily for the past 16 years.
  • A new monitoring protocol for vegetation and non-native species was developed in 2011.
  • The removal of invasive and non-native plants over the past two decades has restored several acres of coastal sage scrub. Very few large patches of weeds remain.
  • A map of all vegetation types on the Point Loma peninsula was completed in 2011.
  • The Cabrillo Oil Spill Response Plan (Pister et al. 2009) was added to the San Diego Area Contingency Plan (ACP) in 2011. The ACP is the plan followed by response agencies and personnel in the event of an oil spill.

Cultural Resources

  • The Museum Storage Building—a state-of-the-art facility—was built to protect historical artifacts.
  • The park receives regular cyclic funding for repairs of coastal defense structures.
  • Park staff submitted funding requests for an administrative history, archeological assessments, and other cultural landscape-related projects.

Visitor Experience

  • The park has partnered with the Maritime Museum of San Diego as they build a replica of the San Salvador, Cabrillo's flagship, at Spanish Landing. The Park Education Staff and the Maritime Museum of San Diego staff are developing curriculum-based programs to be presented to third through fifth graders. Park staff and volunteers wearing clothing representative of the 1540s provide interpretation of the history of Cabrillo's voyage of discovery to visitors at the construction site. A web cam provides real-time still images of the progress of the building of the San Salvador to our visitor center.
  • The Sea-to-Shining Sea Program allows virtual field trips to the rocky intertidal habitat and lighthouse and is viewed in classrooms throughout California and the world. Students can have real-time interaction with park rangers that they can see and ask questions about the tide-pools, lighthouse and geologic history.
  • The Kelp Forest and Whale Watch Overlook has been remodeled with new signs and displays. Visitors can relax on new benches under canopies that look like sails.
  • The Parks and Open Spaces Day annual event has participation from county, state, local organizations throughout southern California; each year, this event has more participants and gains in popularity.
  • Cabrillo National Monument has established a volunteer committee and associated charter, providing a vehicle for stewardship and buy-in for our volunteers.
  • Our education program provides curriculum-based school programs on five topics. Grades 2 through 5 are taught about the "Life in the Coastal Sage Scrub," "Kumeyaay Supermarket," "Rocky Intertidal," "Lighthouse," and our most popular, "Cabrillo and the Age of Exploration."
  • The Port of San Diego is now in the planning stages of establishing a shuttle service dedicated to servicing the downtown area of San Diego with the Park and stops in-between.
  • Photographic events and Art shows were new for FY11 and FY12. Local photographers and artists participated in these events, and planning has begun for events next year.
  • The auditorium has been retrofitted to show the park's three movies automatically throughout the day.

Park Infrastructure

  • Restoration of the Old Point Loma Lighthouse was completed with repairs made to the roof, new weather sealing, and repainted railings.
  • Repairs were made to the Assistant Keeper's Quarters adjacent to the lighthouse, and the Fresnel lens was relocated to that building so that visitors can view it up close and learn about its operation.
  • To reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to save energy, the park recently installed two rooftop solar arrays, and replaced several gasoline-powered vehicles with electric vehicles.
  • Cabrillo became a "trash-free park" in November, 2010, by removing 95% of its garbage and recycling containers. This has resulted in a significant decrease in the park's contribution to landfill, and associated carbon footprint related to hauling and processing. Other benefits include reducing pests, removing an unnatural food source for wildlife, and reducing litter. It encourages reuse and recycling practices for the public, and results in a cost savings which allows the park to make more productive use of available staff and funding.
  • A Joint Fire Management Plan with Navy Base Point Loma was signed in 2006 (National Park Service 2006) and will be revised in 2012. It was the first joint fire plan between the Department of the Interior and the Department of Defense.

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