Lagoon Platoon Volunteers plant native coastal sage scrub vegetation along Santa Carina trail.

Community volunteerism revitalizes the reserve.

Join the thrill of hands-on conservation in San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve. Lagoon Platoon, an all-volunteer community habitat restoration event, occurs monthly on 3rd Saturdays. All the tools needed for restoration are provided, and garden experience is not necessary.
Dig in and join us!
Community restoration events are great opportunities to meet others from nearby areas, while helping to improve native habitats. Each Lagoon Platoon event is led by San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy biologists, who oversee activities and lead participants on a mini-tour of the targeted restoration site during the mid-morning break.
Join Lagoon Platoon the third Saturday each month and restore native habitat with fellow community members. Sign up today to participate in the next monthly restoration event!
Every Wednesday morning, our dedicated Stewards learn and apply technical habitat restoration practices while enjoying the beauty of San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve. Contact platoon [at] sanelijo [dot] org (subject: Interested%20Lagoon%20Platoon%20Steward) to find out how you can become a Lagoon Platoon Steward! Read about our Stewards of the Season.

Lagoon Platoon activities typically include:
  • invasive weed removal
  • planting of native species
  • debris removal
  • trail maintenance

Thousands of community members have joined San Elijo Lagoon Platoon to restore habitat at San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve. Here's a few examples of how their efforts have benefited wildlife and created special places for our community:

November 15, 2014 Sienna Canyon The November Lagoon Platoon volunteer event was a great success thanks to dedicated community members passionately restoring San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve! Together, we installed 216 riparian and coastal sage scrub plants at the Sienna Canyon Restoration Site. Sienna Canyon was once covered in giant reed (Arundo donax), an invasive grass native to Asia. With your help native species such as coyote brush (Baccharis pilularis) and bush sunflower (Encelia californica) are now thriving in the restoration area.

Thank you to Teen Volunteers in Action and the rest of our outstanding crew who joined us Saturday morning! Check out pictures from the event on our Facebook page and join us December 20th for our next weekend event.

October 18, 2014 Ford Wildlife Habitat Preserve Fall is in the air which means it's time to plant some natives! Community members gathered at the Ford Wildlife Habitat Preserve to kick off the 2014/2015 planting season by installing 140 native, riparian species. Lagoon Platoon volunteer efforts enhance San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve by transforming degraded areas to robust native habitat.
With Halloween around the corner, participants learned about the Black and Yellow Argiope (Argiope aurantia), witches hair (Cuscuta sp.), and the Big Brown Bat (Eptesicus fuscus) during the mid-morning, nature walk. Stop by our Facebook page to see pictures of volunteers in action. 
Volunteers plant alkali heath (Frankenia salina) at the Ford Wildlife Habitat Preserve
September 20, 2014 MiraCosta College Lagoon Platoon volunteers participated in the 30th annual Coastal Cleanup Day by collecting 611 pounds of trash and 99 pounds of recyclables from San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve and Manchester Avenue. Removing debris before it has a chance to enter local waterways is a key step in protecting sensitive native habitat. Additionally, volunteers removed 12 cubic yards of invasive iceplant (Carpobrotus edulis) to protect native coastal sage scrub habitat bordering the reserve. 
We are extremely grateful to all the groups who came together to make this event possible: I Love A Clean San Diego, Sony, Teen Volunteers In Action, Solana Beach Presbyterian Church, San Diego County Parks and Recreation, MiraCosta College, and Lagoon Platoon Volunteers. A special thanks to Sony for donating lunch and Einstein Bros Bagels for donating breakfast. Visit the conservancy's Facebook page to see pictures of the 2014 cleanup!
July 19, 2014 San Elijo Lagoon Nature Center A dedicated group of Lagoon Platoon volunteers enjoyed getting their hands dirty while making native seed balls. Volunteers learned about habitat restoration in the San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve during July's weekend Lagoon Platoon Event. The 900 balls created contain native coastal sage scrub plant species such as:
bush monkeyflower (Mimulus aurantiacus)
golden yarrow (Eriophyllum confertiflorum)
salt heliotrope (Heliotropium curassavicum)
The seed balls will be distributed among coastal sage scrub restoration sites during future restoration events. The native seeds within the balls will germinate as we receive precipitation and grow to reclaim degraded habitat in the reserve. Visit the conservancy's Facebook page to see pictures from this event.
June 21, 2014 Sienna Canyon Volunteers celebrated the 2014 summer solstice by removing 10 cubic yards of invasive vegetation from the Sienna Canyon restoration site. Enthusiastic Lagoon Platoon volunteers learned to identify and control invasive species such as rabbit's foot (Polypogon monspeliensis), Mexican tea (Dysphania ambrosioides), and wild radish (Raphanus sativus) during the morning restoration event. Thank you to local community volunteers and Solana Beach Presbyterian Church who contributed to restoring high quality riparian and coastal sage scrub habitat in the reserve. See pictures from this event on our Facebook page
Invasive plants are cleared by volunteers at the Sienna Canyon Restoration Site.
May 17, 2014 Santa Carina Lagoon Platoon closed the 2013-2014 planting season by installing 225 native coastal sage scrub plants along the Santa Carina trail during May's monthly community habitat restoration event. Volunteers celebrated Endangered Species Day (May 16) with Lagoon Platoon by restoring habitat for rare, threatened, and endangered species. San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy Docents educated participants about the important role restoration plays in providing habitat for endangered species during the mid-morning nature walk. Thanks to Encinitas Environment Day and the Endangered Species Coalition for helping promote the event. We appreciate Teen Volunteers In Action an others who volunteered to restore San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve. As always, you can find pictures of the planting on our Facebook page.
April 26, 2014: Creek to Bay Cleanup Wind and rain can't stop our dedicated volunteers from protecting San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve. On April 26, Lagoon Platoon joined forces with I Love A Clean San Diego for the 12th annual Creek to Bay Cleanup. Unaffected by the poor weather, one hundred volunteers weeded invasive plants, removed trash, and planted native coastal sage scrub vegetation across the eastern portion of the reserve. Nearly 250 pounds of trash and 600 pounds of invasive plants were cleared by volunteers. Thank you to the wonderful participants from Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Cox Communications, and The Rotary Club for helping at this year's cleanup. See pictures from Saturday on our Facebook page.
Volunteers remove debris from the reserve during the 2014 Creek to Bay Cleanup.
April 5, 2014: Santa Carina With lightning speed Lagoon Platoon volunteers erected a fence along reserve trails. Later this spring we will return to plant native coastal sage scrub vegetation within the newly fenced restoration area. This fence will protect young native plants as they grow along heavily used trails. Thanks to VG Donut and Bakery for providing refreshments to keep volunteers energized. Visit our Facebook page to see pictures of the fence construction. 
March 15, 2014: Sienna Canyon With spring around the corner, Lagoon Platoon volunteers continue the important work of restoring native habitat in the San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve. Volunteers installed 147 native coastal sage scrub and riparian plants at the Sienna Canyon restoration site along Escondido Creek. During the mid-morning break, San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy President and Docent, Scott Griffiths, lead volunteers on a nature walk highlighting many of the important plant and animal species in the reserve, such as deerweed (Acmispon glaber). Thanks to Einstein Bagels and Burtech Pipeline for sponsoring this event. Our appreciation goes out to all volunteers who have participated to restore our beautiful reserve! Check out pictures from the morning on our Facebook page.
Volunteers dig in to plant native ripairan vegetation during March's Lagoon Platoon Habitat Restoration Event.


Next Restoration Event (rain or shine):

Complete Minor Volunteer Information Form (PDF) and nick [at] sanelijo [dot] org (email) it, or bring it with you to the event. Volunteers below the age of 13 may not attend because of inherent risks associated with our working environment.
Get ready for the next community habitat restoration event by reviewing our native plant field guides:



Seeking a team-building event? Let us help you create an outdoor program for your company or group.

Nick Regoli, Associate Biologist
San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy
Nick [at] SanElijo [dot] org
(760) 436-3944 x 709

View slideshow of events

“I’m inspired and pleased at the extraordinary work Lagoon Platoon volunteers have accomplished to restore native habitat in the reserve. Getting the community involved in the control of invasive species is important for our local ecosystems." - Jim Elliott, Steward of the Season Summer 2014

“When people litter and degrade the lagoon, I don’t think they realize how one small piece of trash can affect every species in the area. Volunteering allows me to fix these problems and keep a balance within the lagoon.
”— Kelsey Navis, volunteer and high school student

“The catalyst for me to volunteer was the gulf oil spill. I thought it wasn't such a remote possibility that this could happen here.”—Laura Liedtke, docent