A diverse land-and-sea site, the Bodega Marine Reserve straddles a peninsula of coastal granite thought to have been displaced hundreds of miles northward along the San Andreas Fault. The reserve encompasses a broad range of upland, wetland, and marine habitats, including coastal scrub, coastal prairie, freshwater and salt marsh, active and stabilized dunes, harbor tidal flats, exposed and protected sandy beaches, and rocky shore with rich intertidal habitats.
These diverse habitats support a wide variety of flora and fauna, including numerous migratory shorebirds, intertidal invertebrates, coastal bluff plants, and marine algae. Located on site, the UC Bodega Marine Laboratory (BML) provides cutting-edge research facilities and an extensive database for reserve researchers. Adjoining the reserve is the Bodega Marine Life Refuge, established by the California Department of Fish and Game, which extends 300 meters (1,000 feet) offshore and protects important marine habitats.
Through a mentorship program, high-school students learn field techniques and pursue individual projects; field trips for thousands of local elementary school students are hosted annually.
The 1993 discovery of a single plant of showy Indian clover, previously considered extinct, led to a successful propagation program and reintroduction experiments.
High reserve use by university courses in a wide range of disciplines, including marine and terrestrial ecology, botany, ichthyology, invertebrate zoology, entomology, and research diving.
Physical influences on urchin and crab larval settlement and transport. Soil nutrients, herbivores, and coastal grassland community dynamics. Effects of invasive green crabs on shorebird populations and native invertebrates. Effects of pathogens on native and introduced clovers. Magnetic field detection in sharks and rays. Effects of local adaptation in grasses on ecological restoration.
Special Research of National Significance
Bodega Head in Sonoma County, 113 km (70 mi.) north of San Francisco.
Laboratories; library; classrooms; office space; research vessels and equipment; 40-bed dormitory; 14-bed bunkhouse; 3 cottages/apartments for visiting scientists; lodge with 3 single- and 3 double-occupancy rooms plus shared kitchen.
The reserve bibliography includes citations of journal articles, books, theses, art, and other works published about or based on activities conducted at the reserve.
Climate data began in 1967; intense meteorological, oceanographic, biological, and photographic monitoring began in 1987; BML-staffed library includes hundreds of publications on reserve-based research.
On-site reserve manager.
221 hectares (545 acres); UC owns 326 acres but manages a total of 6,388 acres that includes Bodega Head State Marine Reserve
Terrestrial: 0 to 58 m (0 to 190 ft.)
Subtidal: 81 m (266 ft.) deep in Bodega Head Marine Reserve
86 cm (34 inches) per year, ranging from 33 to 185 cm (13 to 73 inches) over 32 years
September maximum: 18 ºC (64 ºF)
January minimum: 6 ºC (43 ºF)