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Newly Established Preserve to Provide Habitat for Sensitive Species

San Diego Habitat Conservancy becomes the steward of the Seacliff Open Space Preserve

Oceanside CA— After 5 years of restoration, the Seacliff Open Space Preserve has now been established. The Preserve consists of 2.87 acres along the south side of the mouth of the San Luis Rey River just west of Interstate 5 and east of the AT and SF Railroad tracks. The Preserve was set aside as mitigation for the adjoining Seacliff residential community. San Diego Habitat Conservancy (SDHC) will manage the open space habitat preserve to protect the sensitive species that call this part of Oceanside “home.”

The majority of the site supports Diegan coastal sage scrub. This protected habitat serves as a safe haven for the sensitive plant, sticky dudleya, and as foraging habitat for such sensitive species as the white-tailed kite and Cooper’s hawk. The site also has the potential to provide much needed habitat for the federally threatened coastal California gnatcatcher.

The Preserve is part of the Biological Core and Linkage Area of the Multiple Habitat Conservation Program (MHCP) Plan, is within the regional California gnatcatcher corridor of the proposed City of Oceanside Subarea Plan, and is part of a larger regional vision to link open space preserves throughout the area.

SDHC’s long term management duties include habitat and sensitive species monitoring to ensure the quality of the habitat is maintained and improved, identifying and removing invasive species (weeds), removing trash, and limiting intrusion into the site. SDHC will coordinate with the City of Oceanside, neighboring landowners, educational institutions, and wildlife agencies as necessary to ensure a coordinated effort to preserve the natural resources of this region.

SDHC was established in 2000 and manages a number of open space easements throughout the San Diego region, preserving and managing sensitive habitat and species that are unique to our southern California environment. This is the first preserve SDHC will be managing within the City of Oceanside. SDHC strives to share our knowledge and appreciation of our natural environment with the San Diego community, encouraging participation in the stewardship of our region’s precious open space.

The mission of SDHC is to acquire, manage and protect land in perpetuity that supports sensitive habitats and species, and to educate and inspire people and communities as stewards and advocates of their natural environment.