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:
April 25, 2015, Creek to Bay Cleanup Spring rain cleared as the 2015 Creek to Bay Cleanup got under way at San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve. One hundred volunteers accomplished an astounding amount of work in the reserve during this 13th annual, county-wide cleanup. Volunteers removed more than 650 pounds of debris and invasive plants, installed 360 native plants, removed 270 feet of fencing, and collected 6 ounces of native seed at the reserve alone. A giant thanks goes out to San Elijo Lagoon Platoon stewards and volunteers, I Love A Clean San Diego, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, San Diego Rotary Club, Comcast Communications, and many more who made this event a success! Join us for our next event Saturday, May16 to continue protecting and restoring the reserve. 
March 21, 2015 Stonebridge Mesa Community volunteers celebrated the spring equinox by planting native coastal sage scrub species on Stonebridge Mesa. Volunteers did a fabulous job installing 380 plants to restore native habitat in the reserve. Before planting, volunteers learned about Kumeyaay culture and their use of native plants during a docent lead nature walk. Dickinson Cameron Construction generously provided a much appreciated lunch to fuel this month's event. Thank you to the 60 participants and leaders who joined Lagoon Platoon's March event. 
Lagoon Platoon volunteers plant coastal sage scrub vegetation at Stonebridge Mesa.
February 21, 2015 Stonebridge Mesa Equipped with meter quadrats and plant ID skills, Lagoon Platoon volunteers set up and conducted seedling survivorship surveys at coastal scrub restoration sites on Stonebridge Mesa. Lagoon Platoon’s first foray into citizen science was a success as participants worked in teams to establish 36 quadrats, calculate non-native cover, and survey for 12 native plant species. Surveys will continue on a regular basis to assess the effectiveness of various seed application techniques to restore native habitat in San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve. This event was possible thanks to the outstanding leadership of Lagoon Platoon stewards and eager volunteers!
January 17, 2015 Santa Carina Lagoon Platoon volunteers kicked off 2015 by restoring coastal sage scrub habitat along the Santa Carina trail. Local community participants planted 301 native species in under two hours with enough time to enjoy a docent led walk. Attendees learned about coastal sage scrub habitat and how species, such as the California Gnatcatcher (Polioptila californica), rely on this habitat type for survival. Thank you to the 47 volunteers and leaders who helped make this wonderful event possible, and Einstein Bagel Bros in Solana Beach for donating refreshments. See pictures on our Facebook page and join us February 17 for our next volunteer restoration event. 

December 20, 2014 Ford Wildlife Habitat Preserve A motivated group of volunteers joined Lagoon Platoon at the Ford Wildlife Habitat Preserve in December to quickly install 251 native plants. With recent rains softening the soil, the enthusiastic volunteer group was able to plant at and astonishing pace. We appreciate our knowledgeable Lagoon Platoon Stewards for their leadership during the event. Thank you to all of our volunteers for their dedication to restoring native habitats in San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve! Head over to Facebook to see pictures from the event. Keep it wild in 2015!

Conservancy Board Member, Scott Griffiths, joins Lagoon Platoon to restore native habitat in the reserve.

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.

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!
Invasive plants are cleared by volunteers at the Sienna Canyon Restoration Site.



Presented by Wetlands Recovery Project 

  • Saturday, May 16
  • 9 am - 12 pm
  • Click to RSVP 
    Directions and details are emailed to registered participants prior to the event.
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 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