North Laguna Cactus Scrub Restoration

Bringing sensitive cactus and coastal scrub habitat back to life.

Current Status: Completed | Start Date: September 2012 | Completed: June 2014 | Project Lead: Derek Ostensen

Laguna Canyon Foundation partnered with the Laguna Beach County Water District (LBCWD) and OC Parks to restore a coastal hillside in North Laguna within Laguna Coast Wilderness Park. The 4-acre project re-established native Californian plants in an area owned by LBCWD which had been significantly damaged by the historic 2010 floods. Record rainfall contributed to slope destabilization and habitat impacts to particularly sensitive species, including cactus scrub supporting the locally rare cactus wren. Laguna Canyon Foundation installed more than 2,000 prickly pear cacti and an assortment of other cactus scrub and coastal sage scrub species, helping this important area of the wilderness park rebound to functional habitat. After two years of restoration and maintenance, the formerly denuded hillside areas are thriving with dense habitat which supports frequent sightings of mule deer, threatened coastal California gnatcatcher and other wildlife.