What do the following have in common?
Steelhead Trout, Tidewater Goby, San Diego Fairy Shrimp, Riverside Fairy Shrimp, Arroyo Toad, Pacific Pocket Mouse, Least Bells' Vireo, Southwestern Willow Flycatcher, Snowy Plover, California Gnatcatcher and Thread-Leaved Brodiaea
All eleven are federally endangered or threatened species and they make their home at San Onofre State Beach. The nearly pristine water of the San Mateo and San Onofre watersheds provide one of the last ecosystems for these delicate species. This watershed is also the last natural wildlife corridor that connects the Cleveland National Forest to the Pacific Ocean. The undisturbed coastal sage environment and riparian forest are also major contributing factors to the survival of these eleven protected species and is home to many other species that thrive in each habitat located within San Onofre State Beach.
The California Department of Parks and Recreation provides education, interpretation, and resource protection in order to protect these federally endangered or threatened species and insures that their habitats remain natural, free from pollution and negative human interaction. San Onofre State Beach ranks 5th in visitation (2.5 million annually) among the 278 State Parks in California. Visitors to this extraordinary “island of nature” between San Diego and Los Angeles look forward to returning to this special place for many years and anticipate the park to be intact for future generations to enjoy.
Written by David Price, Ranger Supervisor, San Onofre State Beach
Pacific Pocket Mouse and Arroyo Toad (photos courtesy of California Department of Fish and Game)