Habitat Restoration

Conserving California’s natural environment is a primary goal of the UC Natural Reserve System. The NRS seeks to minimize human disturbances on the landscape to enable the study of natural conditions and ecosystem processes.

Restoration programs help conserve biological diversity by improving habitat for native wildlife, while careful stewardship help protect imperiled ecosystems such as wetlands. Volunteer restoration programs enlist local communities in the life of the reserve while educating students and neighbors about ecological systems. In many cases, undergraduate interns are working out even more effective restoration techniques with trial, error, and science.

wetland welcome mat
Younger Lagoon Reserve staff and student employees are propagating native wetland species such as Juncus effusus (soft rush) at the UCSC Greenhouse in preparation for planting on the enhanced wetland site. Image: Vaughan Williams


Provide sheltered spaces to propagate native plants for revegetation projects.

Habitat Restoration 1
Vegetation is typically sparse on serpentine outcropping, making it difficult to manage invasive weeds in these areas with controlled burns. Photo credit: Lobsang Wangdu/NRS

weed management

Remove invasive plants to provide food and habitat for native species.

Habitat Restoration 2

wetland management

Maintain wetlands and strengthen connections between tides, streams, and marshes.

Tim Brown
Brown examines a California thrasher at the Younger Lagoon bird banding station while Breck Tyler, Elizabeth Howard, Martha Brown, and colleagues look on. Image: courtesy Tim Brown

volunteer restoration programs

Cultivate a community of volunteers to foster vibrant native ecosystems.