Located at the southern base of Pt. Reyes, this estuary lies between the communities of Bolinas and Stinson Beach. Bolinas Lagoon considered one of Marin county's most significant natural resources. Its diverse habitats of open water, mudflat and marsh support marine fishes, amphibians, waterbirds, and marine mammals - including 3 species of amphibians, 23 of birds and 3 of mammals that are identified as "rare, threatened or endangered." 245 bird species have been identified at the lagoon and its surrounding watershed. The lagoon's importance has been recognized by the international Ramsar Convention, which designated the site as a "Wetland of International Significance."
A popular nature center, Audubon Canyon Ranch is situated at its eastern edge of the lagoon. Though Bolinas Lagoon is encircled by a paved road, residential development is largely confined to the large sand spit at the mouth of the lagoon.
Updated December 2008
Bolinas Lagoon is a major stopover and wintering spot for waterbirds along the Pacific Coast, and numbers of northbound shorebirds in spring have reached 35,000 (Shuford et al. 1989). Its tidal marsh supports a small population of Black Rail. Ecological research on shorebirds (PRBO) and waders (Cypress Grove Research Station)here has been ongoing since the mid-1970s.
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Various ecological enhancements to restore the lagoon to a more natural state are being coordinated by a local non-profit conservation group, the Bolinas Lagoon Foundation.