Walks move out at 10 am into the SAn Elijoo Lagoon estuary from the Nature CEnter each Saturday, the walkers following a naturalist's lead. Morning, life picks up. The striped mullet, runs the waters fit for a leap pout at high tide, and, the gopher snake sticks to an old habt, staying warm under a coastal sage brush.
Eight trails head out into the 1,000 acre ecological reserve the lagoon's Conservancy protects against yearly pull backs in the tidal flow. The lagoon inlet west of Highway 101, in the Cardiff by the Sea beach strip between Encinitas and Solana Beach, has to thrive after decades the blocked ocean flows built a sand beam at the inlet. Building the I-5 in 1965 cut the watershed in half. The bridges, near the beach and out at the I-5, take up too much land for the tides to flow wide through the inlet into the lagoon.
Counting bright green banded silvery topsmelt at the water's surface, any day between 9 am and 5 pm, stays a habit in one of the most flourishing open spaces in San Diego the years the conservancy in Spring dredges the inlet and moves dirt to keep the flow lands clear enough. Last May's dredging kept up the yearly work that stops the fish from leaving the lands the mule deer roam and the California ground squirrel run on the trails visitors take an hour and a half to walk.
The young California halibut raised in the lagoon, and the arrow goby that burrows in the mud the shrimp feel out, can live without risks in the natural estuary waters the sand carried in by the incoming tides, the surf, and storms did not stop from flushing. Two rangers that staff the two story LEED Platinum certified two story Nature Center show the visitors the story on the fish that have taken up a life in the natural tidelands. "Wildlife flourishes in this region, and its continued protection is critical to ensure that our future generations will enjoy this wetland's incredible biodiversity," the conservancy says.
Trails volunteers keep clear give hikers a look at the peaceful habitats. Western fence lizards run the trails, and, bask in the sun on a fence or a rock.
Life does not lay low in the San Elijoo Lagoon. Stagnant life stays in the past. Fish diversity fits the protected coastal lands near Highway 101.
Learning the protected ecologies on watch, amidst the grasses and chaparral covered with cactus plants, teaches a San DIegan hikes are not just casually enjoyed.