San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy
Mission Statement

San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy protects and restores the resources of San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve, its watershed, and related ecosystems for the benefit of current and future generations. To further this mission, we:

  • engage and educate the community about the value of the reserve to promote ecological literacy and environmental responsibility

  • conduct scientific research to advance restoration planning and conservation science

  • design and implement ecological management plans

  • manage and acquire land and easements; and

  • collaborate with the community, organizations, and government agencies.

General Information

San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve, one of San Diego's largest coastal wetlands of 915 acres, is managed by San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy, California Fish and Game, and San Diego County Parks. San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy is a community-spirited nonprofit land trust dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of the reserve through membership, public and school programs, scientific monitoring and restoration activities, and land acquisition. San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy was established in 1987. For more information, visit or call (760) 436-3944.

Contact Information

San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy:
PO Box 230634
Encintas, CA 92023-0634

Phone: 760-436-3944
Web Site:

Staff Contact: Tara Fuad, Conservancy Education Director
760-436-3944 x 701

Programs and Services

K-12 education, public programs, free guided walks, community habitat restoration events

Free guided walks by Conservancy naturalists are held every Saturday at San Elijo Lagoon Nature Center, and 2nd Saturdays on Rios Avenue Trail. Quarterly Family Discovery Days offer free nature-themed interactive programs for children ages 2-10 and their families. Family Discovery Days is coordinated by County Rangers in partnership with San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy. Youth ages 13+ participate with parents or educators in monthly Lagoon Platoon events, a community habitat restoration program overseen by Conservancy biologists. Lagoon Platoon work increases native plantings and removal of invasive plant species to restore and maintain sensitive and public areas in the Reserve.


San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve encompasses 915 acres with 7 miles of trails. More than 700 species of plants and animals are found in coastal and upland habitats, many of them rare or endangered. San Elijo Lagoon Nature Center, county owned and operated, is open daily 9-5 at 2710 Manchester Ave. in Cardiff-by-the-Sea. Free parking and admission. The Reserve is bordered by Encinitas, Solana Beach, and inland to Rancho Santa Fe and Escondido.