Point Sierra Nevada | MARINe

Click here for Long-Term trends

Click here for Biodiversity Survey findings

Point Sierra Nevada is located in the Central Coast region of California, within the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. When the site was established in 1995, it was accessible only by crossing private property (Hearst Corporation), and received very little visitation (occasional trespassers). Then in 2005 the land was transferred to CA State Parks (now part of Hearst San Simeon State Park) and human visitation, particularly by fishermen, increased substantially. The site is fairly remote, which affords it protection from large numbers of visitors, but fishermen are now seen nearly every time the site is sampled. This gently sloping site consists of moderately uneven terrain, containing few cracks and folds.

Point Sierra Nevada biodiversity survey overview

Point Sierra Nevada is dominated by consolidated bedrock, and the area surrounding the site is comprised of a mixture of consolidated bedrock, boulder fields, and pebble beach. The primary coastal orientation of this site is southwest.

Long-Term Monitoring Surveys at Point Sierra Nevada were established in 1995, and are done by University of California Santa Cruz. Long-Term MARINe surveys currently target the following species: Chthamalus/Balanus (Acorn Barnacles), Mytilus (California Mussel), Hesperophycus (Olive Rockweed), Silvetia (Golden Rockweed), Mastocarpus (Turkish Washcloth), Mazzaella (Iridescent Weed), Phyllospadix (Surfgrass), and Pisaster (Ochre Star). In addition, motile invertebrates, barnacle recruitment, mussel size structure, and water temperature are monitored at this site. Click here to view Long-Term trends at this site.

Point Sierra Nevada long-term monitoring overview

Biodiversity Surveys were done in 2001, 2003, 2004, 2017, and 2021. The Biodiversity Survey grid encompasses two sections that are approximately 12 meters (along shore) x 20 meters (seaward), and 15 meters (along shore) x 20 meters (seaward). Click here to view Biodiversity Survey findings at this site.

Voucher specimens of selected invertebrate and seaweed species were collected from this site by California State University Fullerton in 2017. The MARINe vouchering effort was designed to collect and archive samples of species that are monitored using MARINe protocols. Archived samples from this site at the Smithsonian Institution (invertebrates) and University of California Berkeley Herbarium (algae) are identified as BOEM-MARINE-PSN-110417.

For more information about Point Sierra Nevada, please contact Pete Raimondi (raimondi@ucsc.edu).