Park Wavelengths - July 2008


July 31, 2008

Forwarded to Park Wavelengths subscribers: The area affected is on the north side of Limanatour Beach/Muddy Hollow Road area

Coastal Watershed Restoration Project Final Phase Starts Next Week

Fish passage and estuarine process will be restored--Miles of streams will be available for endangered coho salmon and threatened steelhead trout

The park is initiating the second and final year of the Coastal Watershed Restoration Project, which includes replacement or removal of culverts and fish passage problems within the Drakes Estero watershed. The project will restore natural stream process and improve fish passage in Laguna, Muddy Hollow, Glenbrook, Home Ranch and East Schooner Creek, which will benefit federally threatened steelhead trout, and potentially endangered coho salmon. In addition, removal of two dams will restore estuarine processes to the inner arms of the Estero de Limantour. The project will also reduce the maintenance demands at Point Reyes, eliminate the risk of major failure of culverts and dams, and increase sustainability, both operationally and ecologically within these small coastal watersheds. Once completed, the entire length of Muddy Hollow creek will be available for fish spawning that should benefit coho salmon and steelhead trout, both federally listed species.

In 2007, the NPS and its contractor, Hanford Construction completed replacement restoration activities at four sites to enhance fish passage and reduce maintenance requirements. In addition to these improvements, the NPS trails program completed two trail reroutes to Estero Trail and Muddy Hollow Trail.

In 2008, project activities will occur at three locations in the Limantour area between August 1 and October 15. These activities include removal of fill and restoration of estuarine process adjacent to the Limantour Beach parking lot and access.

Removal of dams to restore estuarine habitat and fish passage. At the Limantour Beach access point, the project will remove a culvert and install a 30 meter (100 foot) long pedestrian bridge from the Limantour Beach main parking lot to the beach. The bridge would replace existing beach access in a manner that will restore natural conditions to the Estero de Limantour and increase estuarine habitat at Point Reyes. In addition, the project will remove Muddy Hollow Dam, resulting in restoration of estuarine habitat and fish passage to the watershed. A smaller area of freshwater pond habitat will be retained to provide habitat for California red-legged frog and waterbirds.

Temporary access trail will provide public access. A temporary trail will be constructed from the parking area to the beach. The temporary detour trail will lead from the vault toilets west along the Muddy Hollow Trail to a tidal berm. At this location, there will be tidal gates installed and the trail will be placed overtop heading south to a point on the Limantour Spit Trail to allow visitors access to the beach.

The contractors will stage near the Muddy Hollow Dam and not in the Limantour Beach parking lot. There will be times when trucks will be going from the Limantour Beach Pond Dam to the Muddy Hollow Dam area, but traffic will be infrequent and hopefully there will only be a slight delay and inconvenience to visitors.

Estero Trail Reroute. Removal of dam and culvert crossings to restore natural process has necessitated the rerouting of the southeastern section of the Estero Trail. The new section of the Estero Trail will be open to the public on August 1, 2008. The eastern trailhead for the Estero Trail will now be at the Muddy Hollow Road Trailhead, instead of at Limantour Beach.

Don Neubacher
Point Reyes National Seashore

Top of Page

July 29, 2008

Early morning low tides accompany the new moon's rise on Friday, August 1st

Saturday, August 2 6:23 am -0.9 feet
Sunday, August 3 7:01 am -0.5 feet

The annual Perseid meteor shower approaches with showers to be seen throughout the week of August 10, peaking on Tuesday night, August 12th. They appear to radiate from the northeastern sky and the constellation of Perseus, named for the son of Zeus who rescued wife Andromeda from a sea monster! A bright waxing moon may interfere with viewing but early risers should be able to catch the show of falling stars.

The peak harbor seal molting season is now when they are particularly social, massing in large groups on shores and sand bars such as the Bolinas Lagoon. While molting they look brighter as they lose their old fur which comes off in large patches. In the autumn they will return to their more solitary life at sea.

Flags are half staff in the park to honor Olympic National Park firefighter Andrew Palmer (18 years old) who died in the line of duty this week at Shasta Trinity National Forest. Park staff have been sent to assist at Yosemite National Park; if you are heading that way, check the park website at or (209) 372-0200 for an update on travel conditions.

Exotic color along Bear Valley Trail are the brilliant orange-red Crocosmia sp./Montbretia or South African Lily, a colorful migrant from South Africa. Huckleberries are abundant this year; larger than usual it seems. Lots to be found along Old Pine Trails and in Tomales Bay State Park.

A special booksigning is coming up for the new edition of "The Natural History of Point Reyes Peninsula"; author Jules Evens will be signing copies on August 2nd at the Red Barn Classroom at Bear Valley at 2:30 pm.

Top of Page

July 29, 2008

Forwarded to Local Park Wavelengths subscribers:

What’s Happening on Giacomini Wetlands Restoration Project This Week (Week of July 28 – August 1, 2008)

The wetlands are well on the way to being restored! Hanford Construction continues to remove portions of the Giacomini Ranch levee system during the third full week of construction. At some of the southernmost areas, levees have been completely removed, but in the middle and northern portions of the ranch, a small amount of outer levee material is being retained as a berm to maintain dry working conditions through late October.

Most of the East Pasture levee material is being used to fill drainage ditches, with some being stockpiled at the Dairy Mesa for later use in restoring the natural topography of the Mesa. Levee material being excavated from the West Pasture is being stockpiled, although some is being used to repair three breaches that occurred in the levee system during recent flood events. Construction has been requiring careful coordination and interaction with Park Service and contractor biologists to ensure that no special status species are impacted.

Lorraine Parsons, wetlands ecologist and project manager, from the Seashore will update interested members of the local community and general public on status of the restoration project the first Friday of every month, starting this Friday, August 1. Those interested in attending should meet at 5th and C Street in Point Reyes Station at 10 a.m. at the interpretative sign.

We are going to try and update you once a week; this is a legacy project that will help the Lagunitas Creek and Tomales Bay interface become a natural functioning system.

Don Neubacher
Point Reyes National Seashore

Top of Page


July 15, 2008

The full moon rises on Friday, July 18 with a few early morning daylight low tides:

Friday, July 18 6:03 am -0.6 feet
Saturday, July 19 6:35 am -0.6 feet
Sunday, July 20 7:04 am -0.5 feet
Monday, July 21 7:37 am -0.3 feet

This moon is 'the moon of much ripening' for the Mohawk people of the eastern states; true of California as the first ripe blackberries are appearing along the Earthquake Trail and roadsides.

If you are walking the low tide along Tomales Bay, you may see some bright yellow disks in the lowest intertidal areas. The disks are part of a study conducted by Bodega Marine Lab and the Student Conservation Association summer program. They are measuring erosional force of water and how it affects the native Olympia oyster population; disks are placed on the east shores and west shores of the bay for comparative measurements.

High temperatures last week contributed to the seasonal die off of jellyfish. Moon jellies, clear blobs with four white crescents on the top have been washing ashore along the local beaches as well as the ice tea colored Lions Mane jellies. As surface dwellers, they are susceptible to even a few degrees change in water temperatures. The brownish Lions mane jellies tentacles can cause an allergic reaction so best to avoid them even when washed up onshore.

Mark your calendars for the 28th annual Big Time Festival on Saturday, July 26 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Kule Loklo, the Coast Miwok Exhibit near Bear Valley Visitor Center. Dancers from the Intertribal Pomo and Dry Creek Pomo bands will be demonstrating along with basketmakers Julia Parker, flintknappers, and shell bead makers. Bring a picnic to enjoy the day, no dogs or alcoholic beverages at this event.

Top of Page


July 08, 2008

Forwarded to Local Park Wavelengths Email List

Work in Progress on Bolinas Ridge Fuelbreak

July 8, 2008

The Point Reyes Hazardous Fuels Crew has begun work on the Bolinas Ridge Fuelbreak which will continue throughout the summer.

This year, work will be completed on the section between Randall Trail and McCurdy Trail. When completed, the fuelbreak will extend for approximately 5 miles from Randall Trail to Bolinas-Fairfax Road. Brush and understory vegetation on the west side of the road is being thinned, and large dead and down material is being removed.

While the crew is working, vehicles and equipment will be on theBolinas Ridge Trail / fire road. Work will not be done during the weekends to minimize impacts on hiking. Tree cutting and chipping will be taking place in the work area, so hikers and mountain bikers should use caution when passing through.

The Bolinas Ridge Fuelbreak will improve the fire road for emergency access, and help firefighters use the road as a control line for fire suppression if necessary.


Jennifer Chapman
Fire Communication and Education Specialist
S.F. Bay Area National Parks

Top of Page


July 1, 2008

The new moon rises on July 2nd at 7:19 pm and the earth will be at aphelion on July 4th, the farthest point in its annual orbit of the sun. Some early morning daylight low tides occur:

Thursday, July 3 5:58 am -1.8 feet
Friday, July 4 6:45 am -1.7 feet
Saturday, July 5 7:30 am -1.3 feet
Sunday, July 6 8:13 am -0.8 feet

A tough summer for the snowy plovers but they are not giving up; 16 nests have been made with five hatched and 15 chicks but only one chick still alive. There are hopes of four more chicks being hidden in a nest with dad.

Monkeyflowers are the latest wildflowers to bloom; look low alongside roadways for the bright yellow Seep Spring Monkeyflowers who like dampness; look higher up for the orange Sticky Monkeyflowers.

A permit for a training bike ride had been issued for Saturday July 12th at Bear Valley Picnic area. Expect some congestion as groups of bike riders move through the area to Abbots Lagoon in the morning.

Seal protection measures are lifted for this year - the annual closure of Drakes Estero and South Blue Gums Beach from March 1st to June 30th ended this week.

All park visitor centers are open Friday July 4th. No fireworks are permitted in Marin County and in the national seashore. Legal fireworks may be seen at the Marin County Fair - one of the park's electric vehicles will be on display at the fair as part of 24 alternative fuel vehicles.

The free weekends in July shuttle bus between Olema Campground and Limantour Beach begins this weekend. Schedules have been posted at the Olema Campground and at Bear Valley Visitor Center.

Saturday, July 5th park archivist Carol DeRooy and local historian Dewey Livingston will be signing copies of their new history picture guide to Point Reyes from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Top of Page

Last updated: February 28, 2015

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

1 Bear Valley Road
Point Reyes Station, CA 94956


(415) 464-5100
This number will initially be answered by an automated attendant, from which one can opt to access a name directory, listen to recorded information about the park (i.e., directions to the park; visitor center hours of operation; weather forecast; fire danger information; shuttle bus system status; wildlife updates; ranger-led programs; seasonal events; etc.), or speak with a ranger. Please note that if you are calling between 4:30 pm and 10 am, park staff may not be available to answer your call.

Contact Us