Salinas River National Wildlife Refuge
|Salinas River National Wildlife Refuge|
IUCN category IV (habitat/species management area)
|Location||Monterey County, California, United States|
|Nearest city||Castroville, California|
|Area||367 acres (1.49 km2)|
|Governing body||U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service|
|Website||Salinas River National Wildlife Refuge|
Salinas River National Wildlife Refuge is located approximately 11 miles north of Monterey, California, and 3 miles south of Castroville, California, at the point where the Salinas River empties into Monterey Bay. The 367-acre (1.49 km2) refuge encompasses several habitat types including sand dunes, pickleweed salt marsh, river lagoon, riverine habitat, and a saline pond. The refuge was established in 1974 because of its "particular value in carrying out the national migratory bird management program."
The area provides habitat for several threatened and endangered species, including the California brown pelican, Smith's blue butterfly, the western snowy plover, the Monterey sand gilia, and the Monterey spineflower. The refuge is used by a variety of migratory birds during breeding, wintering, and migrating periods. Refuge mammals include muskrat, golden beaver, gray fox, red fox, striped skunk, longtail weasel, Virginia opossum, vagrant shrew, broad-footed mole, brush rabbit, raccoon, duskyfooted woodrat, deer mouse, and coyote.
Salinas River National Wildlife Refuge is open to the public though there are no facilities beyond a parking lot and footpaths. Those willing to walk from the parking lot to the beach are rewarded with beautiful scenery and an excellent presentation of native dune vegetation.
Northwestern Monterey County has a Mediterranean climate with warm and dry summers. The weather is generally wet and mild in the winter. The area receives about 16 inches of rain in an average year, mostly between November and April. Wind comes from the southeast during the summer and fall, and there is a steady northwest wind during winter and spring.
The Salinas River water is contaminated due to pumping and industry. Alteration of water flow disrupts the natural concentration of salt. The worst threat to water quality is agricultural pollution originating in the broad stretches of farmland upstream. The water experiences eutrophication and algae overgrowth. Pesticides in local waters include dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane and other organochlorine insecticides.
The refuge is located in the California Coast Ranges. Basement rocks along the coast are from the Mesozoic, 65 to are 245 million years old. About seven million years ago the local ranges experienced most of their uplift, and there are several geological faults, such as the San Gregorio-Hosgri fault system. The majority of the refuge itself is located on inactive Pleistocene dune deposits and clay.
- "Salinas River National Wildlife Refuge". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey.
- "Salinas River National Wildlife Refuge". U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Retrieved 2010-12-16.
- Salinas River National Wildlife Refuge Comprehensive Conservation Plan Summary (PDF) (Report). U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. December 2002. Retrieved 2010-12-16.
- U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (2002). Salinas River National Wildlife Refuge. Sacramento: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. pp. 35–39.
- Ryan, Maureen. "Lethal Effects Of Water Quality On Threatened California Salamanders But Not On Co-Occurring Hybrid Salamanders". Academic Search Premier.
- Feldsher, Theodore. "A Solid Foundation". Academic Search Premier.