Avila Beach, California
Avila Beach is an unincorporated community in San Luis Obispo County, United States, located on San Luis Obispo Bay about 160 miles northwest of Los Angeles, about 200 miles south of San Francisco. For statistical purposes, the United States Census Bureau has defined Avila Beach as a census-designated place; the census definition of the area may not correspond to local understanding of the area with the same name. The population was 1,627 at the 2010 census; the name Avila commemorates Miguel Ávila, granted Rancho San Miguelito in 1842. The town was established in the latter half of the 19th century, when it served as the main shipping port for San Luis Obispo. Around this time, Luigi Marre built a honeymoon hotel here and steamboats brought customers from San Francisco and Los Angeles. Although Avila Beach still has a working commercial fishing pier and the inland areas have extensive apple orchards, tourism is now the main industry. There are few historical structures remaining. In the late 1990s, Unocal began the cleanup of decades old oil seepage discovered years earlier from corroding pipes under the township, which had caused a massive oil spill under the town.
Over 6,750 truckloads of contaminated material was sent to a Bakersfield landfill, replaced with clean Guadalupe Dunes sand. Many of the town's homes and businesses, including several blocks of Front Street, were razed as a result of the quarter-mile-wide excavation. New buildings, businesses, modern walkways and sea motif walls and benches have been constructed; the beach is less than 0.5 miles long and sheltered in San Luis Bay, formed by Point San Luis on the west and Fossil Point on the east. Avila Beach faces south and the 600 foot elevation of Point San Luis breaks the prevailing northwesterly winds, it is therefore warmer than the other beaches on the Central Coast. Most of Avila Beach is undeveloped, except for a few blocks adjacent to the beach with homes and small businesses, a few upscale housing developments inland near a golf course. Avila Beach is known for its hot springs, which are used for resort spas. U. S. Route 101 and State Highway 1 bypass this part of the coastline to the east in favor of a more direct route from Pismo Beach north to San Luis Obispo.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP covers an area of 6.0 square miles, 99.71% of it land, 0.29% of it water. Average temperatures vary little during the year, ranging from 47–49 °F to 70–72 °F from November through April, from 60–69 °F to 80–82 °F from May through October. Average annual rainfall is 15 inches. Along with much of the California coast, winter is the wet season, with more than 70% of the yearly rain falling from December through March, while summer brings drought conditions; the 2010 United States Census reported that Avila Beach had a population of 1,627. The population density was 269.9 people per square mile. The racial makeup of Avila Beach was 1,507 White, 13 African American, 7 Native American, 33 Asian, 0 Pacific Islander, 34 from other races, 33 from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 111 persons; the Census reported that 1,627 people lived in households, 0 lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, 0 were institutionalized. There were 842 households, out of which 115 had children under the age of 18 living in them, 416 were opposite-sex married couples living together, 39 had a female householder with no husband present, 16 had a male householder with no wife present.
There were 36 unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, 14 same-sex married couples or partnerships. 296 households were made up of individuals and 108 had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 1.93. There were 471 families; the population was spread out with 183 people under the age of 18, 74 people aged 18 to 24, 263 people aged 25 to 44, 597 people aged 45 to 64, 510 people who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 56.9 years. For every 100 females, there were 91.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.0 males. There were 1,093 housing units at an average density of 181.3 per square mile, of which 529 were owner-occupied, 313 were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 3.1%. 1,074 people lived in owner-occupied housing units and 553 people lived in rental housing units. Avila Beach has three piers: Avila Beach Pier, 1,685 feet in length, is closed to tourist strolling and recreational fishing. In recent years, the pier has become a site for whale watching as numbers of grays and humpback whales come into bays around the pier to feed and draw crowds during the seasons.
Diablo Canyon Power Plant, the last remaining nuclear power plant in California, is located in a remote part of the Avila Beach unincorporated area, about 6 miles northwest of the beach itself. The Avila Beach Pier was featured in a Super Bowl advertisement on February 7, 2010. Avila Beach was the primary shooting location for the 1979 film California Dreaming, which sta
In polymer chemistry and materials science, resin is a solid or viscous substance of plant or synthetic origin, convertible into polymers. Resins are mixtures of organic compounds; this article focuses on naturally-occurring resins. Plants secrete resins for their protective benefits in response to injury; the resin protects the plant from pathogens. Resins confound a wide range of herbivores and pathogens, while the volatile phenolic compounds may attract benefactors such as parasitoids or predators of the herbivores that attack the plant. Most plant resins are composed of terpenes. Specific components are alpha-pinene, beta-pinene, delta-3 carene, sabinene, the monocyclic terpenes limonene and terpinolene, smaller amounts of the tricyclic sesquiterpenes, longifolene and delta-cadinene; some resins contain a high proportion of resin acids. Rosins on the other hand consist, inter alia, of diterpenes. Notable examples of plant resins include amber, Balm of Gilead, Canada balsam, copal from trees of Protium copal and Hymenaea courbaril, dammar gum from trees of the family Dipterocarpaceae, Dragon's blood from the dragon trees, frankincense from Boswellia sacra, galbanum from Ferula gummosa, gum guaiacum from the lignum vitae trees of the genus Guaiacum, kauri gum from trees of Agathis australis, hashish from Cannabis indica, labdanum from mediterranean species of Cistus, mastic from the mastic tree Pistacia lentiscus, myrrh from shrubs of Commiphora, sandarac resin from Tetraclinis articulata, the national tree of Malta, spinifex resin from Australian grasses, turpentine, distilled from pine resin.
Amber is fossil resin from other tree species. Copal, kauri gum and other resins may be found as subfossil deposits. Subfossil copal can be distinguished from genuine fossil amber because it becomes tacky when a drop of a solvent such as acetone or chloroform is placed on it. African copal and the kauri gum of New Zealand are procured in a semi-fossil condition. Solidified resin from which the volatile terpenes have been removed by distillation is known as rosin. Typical rosin is a transparent or translucent mass, with a vitreous fracture and a faintly yellow or brown colour, non-odorous or having only a slight turpentine odor and taste. Rosin is insoluble in water soluble in alcohol, essential oils and hot fatty oils. Rosin melts under the influence of heat. Rosin burns with a smoky flame. Rosin consists of a complex mixture of different substances including organic acids named the resin acids. Related to the terpenes, resin acid are oxidized terpenes. Resin acids dissolved in alkalis to form resin soaps, from which the purified resin acids are regenerated upon treatment with acids.
Examples of resin acids are abietic acid, C20H30O2, plicatic acid contained in cedar, pimaric acid, C20H30O2, a constituent of galipot resin. Abietic acid can be extracted from rosin by means of hot alcohol. Pimaric acid resembles abietic acid into which it passes when distilled in a vacuum. Rosin is obtained from pines and some other plants conifers. Plant resins are produced as stem secretions, but in some Central and South American species such as Euphorbia dalechampia and Clusia species they are produced as pollination rewards, used by some stingless bee species to construct their nests. Propolis, consisting of resins collected from plants such as poplars and conifers, is used by honey bees to seal gaps in their hives. Shellac and lacquer are examples of insect-derived resins. Asphaltite and Utah resin are petroleum bitumens, not a product secreted by plants, although it was derived from plants. Human use of plant resins has a long history, documented in ancient Greece by Theophrastus, in ancient Rome by Pliny the Elder, in the resins known as frankincense and myrrh, prized in ancient Egypt.
These were prized substances, required as incense in some religious rites. The word resin comes from French resine, from Latin resina "resin", which either derives from or is a cognate of the Greek ῥητίνη rhētinē "resin of the pine", of unknown earlier origin, though non-Indo-European; the word "resin" has been applied in the modern world to nearly any component of a liquid that will set into a hard lacquer or enamel-like finish. An example is nail polish. Certain "casting resins" and synthetic resins have been given the name "resin." Some resins when soft are known as'oleoresins', when containing benzoic acid or cinnamic acid they are called balsams. Oleoresins are occurring mixtures of an oil and a resin. Other resinous products in their natural condition are a mix with gum or mucilaginous substances and known as gum resins. Several natural resins are used as ingredients in perfumes, e.g. balsams of Peru and tolu, elemi and certain turpentines. Other liquid compounds found inside plants or exuded by plants, such as sap, latex, or mucilage, are sometimes confused with resin but are not the same.
Saps, in particular, serve. Plant resins are valued for the production of varnishes and food glazing agents, they are prized as raw materials for the synthesis of other organic compounds and provide constituents of incense and perfume. The oldest known use of plant resin comes from the late Middle Stone Age in Southern Africa where it was used as an adhesive for hafting stone tools
Morro Bay, California
Morro Bay is a waterfront city in San Luis Obispo County, California located along California State Route 1 on California's Central Coast. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 10,234, down from 10,350 at the 2000 census; the prehistory of Morro Bay relates to Chumash settlement near the mouth of Morro Creek. At least as early as the Millingstone Horizon thousands of years before present, there was an extensive settlement along the banks and terraces above Morro Creek; the first European land exploration of Alta California, the Spanish Portola expedition, came down Los Osos Valley and camped near today's Morro Bay on September 8, 1769. Franciscan missionary and expedition member Juan Crespi noted in his diary that "we saw a great rock in the form of a round morro". Morro Rock gave its name to the town; the descriptive term morro is common to the Spanish and Italian languages, the word is part of many place names where there is a distinctive and prominent hill-shaped rock formation. Note that the similar Spanish descriptive word "moro" indicates a bluish color rather than a shape.
The first recorded Filipinos to visit America arrived at Morro Bay on October 18, 1587, from the Spanish galleon Nuestra Señora de la Esperanza. While governed by Mexico, large land grants split the surrounding area into cattle and dairy ranchos; these ranchos needed shipping to bring in dry goods and to carry their crops and other farm products to cities. Thus, Morro Bay grew; the town of Morro Bay was founded by Franklin Riley in 1870 as a port for the export of dairy and ranch products. He was instrumental in the building of a wharf. During the 1870s, schooners could be seen at the Embarcadero picking up wool, potatoes and dairy products. Since the beginning of the 20th century, the town has been a center for beach holidays. Tourism is the city's largest industry, coexisting with the town's commercial fishery; the most popular beach is on the north side of Morro Rock, north of the harbor. There are excellent beaches north and south of the town which are now owned by the State of California. A subspecies of butterfly, the "Morro Bay Blue" or " Morro Blue" was first found at Morro beach, by the entomologist Robert F. Sternitzky, in June 1929.
In the 1940s, Morro Bay developed an abalone fishing industry. Halibut, rockfish and many other species are still caught by both commercial and sport vessels. In addition, oysters are aquacultured in the shallow back bay. A portion of Morro Bay is designated as a state and national bird sanctuary, it is a state and national estuary. Much of Morro Bay is a state wildlife area where waterfowl hunting is conducted during the season and is one of the few areas in California where Pacific brant are pursued. In 2007, the California Fish and Game Commission designated Morro Bay as a marine protected area named the Morro Bay State Marine Reserve. Morro Bay is located at 35°22′45″N 120°51′12″W. Morro Bay 35°20′16″N 120°51′05″W is the name of the large estuary, situated along the northern shores of the bay itself; the larger bay on which the local area lies is Estero Bay, which encompasses the communities of Cayucos and Los Osos. The city of Morro Bay is 20 km northwest of San Luis Obispo and is located on Highway 1.
Los Osos Creek discharges into Morro Bay. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 10.3 square miles, of which, 5.3 square miles of it is land and 5.0 square miles of it is water. The town's most striking feature is Morro Rock, a 576 foot high volcanic plug which stands at the entrance to the harbor, it was surrounded by water, but the northern channel was filled in to make the harbor. It was quarried from 1889 to 1969, in 1968, it was designated a Historical Landmark; the area around the base of Morro Rock is open to visitors, with parking paths. However, climbing the rock itself is prohibited except with a permit, both due to risk of injury, because it is a peregrine falcon reserve. Morro Rock is one in a series of similar plugs that stretch in a line inland called the Nine Sisters, it is possible. Morro Bay is a natural embayment with an artificial harbor constructed by the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers, it is the only all-weather small craft commercial and recreational harbor between Santa Barbara and Monterey.
Morro Rock was surrounded by water, but the Army built a large artificial breakwater and road across the north end of the harbor, linking Morro Rock and the mainland. Some of the rock used for this and for the artificial breakwaters was quarried from Morro Rock itself. Other rock was imported by barge from Catalina Island; the bay extends inland and parallels the shore for a distance of about 6.4 km south of its entrance at Morro Rock. Morro Bay is recognized for protection by the California Bays and Estuaries Policy. Only small craft are capable of passing the harbor channel. A large natural sandspit, augmented by breakwaters, protects the harbor from the Pacific Ocean to the west. At its northern end, remains of a bridge that used to connect the shore with the sandspit can be seen. Morro Bay Harbor's channel must be dredged every three to four years; the Shark Inlet connected the back bay to the ocean. Some have proposed reopening it to slow the sedimentation, filling up the bay. There has been work on reducing erosion in t
Gaultheria shallon is a leathery-leaved shrub in the heather family, native to western North America. In English, it is known as salal, shallon, or gaultheria in Britain. Gaultheria shallon is 0.2 to 5 m sprawling to erect. Evergreen, its dense, egg-shaped leaves are shiny and dark green on the upper surface, rough and lighter green on the lower; each finely and serrate leaf is 5 to 10 cm long. The inflorescence consists of a bracteate raceme, one-sided, with five to 15 flowers at the ends of branches; each flower is composed of a five-parted, glandular-haired calyx and an urn-shaped pink to white, glandular to hairy, five-lobed corolla, 7 to 10 mm long. The reddish to blue, rough-surfaced, nearly spherical fruit is 6 to 10 mm in diameter. Gaultheria shallon is tolerant of both shady conditions at low to moderate elevations, it is a common coniferous forest understory species and may dominate large areas with its spreading rhizomes. In coastal areas, it may form dense, nearly impenetrable thickets.
It grows as far north as Alaska. Western poison oak is a common associate in the California Coast Ranges, its dark blue berries and young leaves are both edible and are efficient appetite suppressants, both with a unique flavor. G. shallon berries were a significant food resource for native people, who ate them fresh and dried them into cakes. They were used as a sweetener, the Haida used them to thicken salmon eggs; the leaves of the plant were sometimes used to flavor fish soup. More G. shallon berries are used locally in jams and pies. They are combined with Oregon-grape because the tartness of the latter is masked by the mild sweetness of G. shallon. Gaultheria shallon was introduced to Britain in 1828 by David Douglas, who intended the plant to be used as an ornamental. There, it is known as shallon, or, more gaultheria, is believed to have been planted as cover for pheasants on shooting estates, it colonises heathland and acidic woodland habitats in southern England forming tall and dense evergreen stands which smother other vegetation.
Although heathland managers regard it as a problem weed on unmanaged heathland, it is browsed by cattle, so where traditional grazing management has been restored, the dense stands become broken up and the plant becomes a more scattered component of the heathland vegetation. Used for thousands of years by natives, the primary non-Aboriginal use in Canada in the 20th century has been as a source of florist greenery, more as a ground cover in landscaping. Both salal and shallon are presumed to be of Native American origin: the former from Chinook Jargon sallal, the latter from a native word whose pronunciation was recorded by Lewis and Clark as shelwel, shellwell; the genus Gaultheria was named by Pehr Kalm for his guide in Canada, fellow botanist Jean-François Gaultier. Gaultheria shallon has been used for its medicinal properties by local natives for generations; the medicinal uses of this plant are not known or used. However, the leaves have an astringent effect, making it an effective anti-inflammatory and anticramping herb.
Leaves prepared in a tea or tincture are thought to decrease internal inflammation such as bladder inflammation, stomach or duodenal ulcers, indigestion, sinus inflammation, moderate fever, inflamed / irritated throat, menstrual cramps. A poultice of the leaf can be used externally to ease discomfort from insect stings. In the Pacific Northwest, the harvesting of G. shallon is the heart of a large industry which supplies cut evergreens worldwide for use in floral arrangements. It is used in native plant gardens, it is sold as "Lemon Leaf". "Gaultheria shallon". The Oregon Encyclopedia
In forestry and ecology, understory comprises plant life growing beneath the forest canopy without penetrating it to any great extent, but above the forest floor. Only a small percentage of light penetrates the canopy so understory vegetation is shade tolerant; the understory consists of trees stunted through lack of light, other small trees with low light requirements, shrubs and undergrowth. Small trees such as holly and dogwood are understory specialists. In temperate deciduous forests, many understory plants start into growth earlier than the canopy trees to make use of the greater availability of light at this time of year. A gap in the canopy caused by the death of a tree stimulates the potential emergent trees into competitive growth as they grow upwards to fill the gap; these trees tend to have straight trunks and few lower branches. At the same time, the bushes and plant life on the forest floor become more dense; the understory experiences greater humidity than the canopy, the shaded ground does not vary in temperature as much as open ground.
This causes a proliferation of ferns and fungi and encourages nutrient recycling, which provides favorable habitats for many animals and plants. The understory is the underlying layer of vegetation in a forest or wooded area the trees and shrubs growing between the forest canopy and the forest floor. Plants in the understory comprise an assortment of seedlings and saplings of canopy trees together with specialist understory shrubs and herbs. Young canopy trees persist in the understory for decades as suppressed juveniles until an opening in the forest overstory permits their growth into the canopy. In contrast understory shrubs complete their life cycles in the shade of the forest canopy; some smaller tree species, such as dogwood and holly grow tall and are understory trees. The canopy of a rainforest is about 10m thick, intercepts around 95% of the sunlight; the understory receive less intense light than plants in the canopy and such light as does penetrate is impoverished in wavelengths of light that are most effective for photosynthesis.
Understory plants therefore must be shade tolerant—they must be able to photosynthesize adequately using such light as does reach their leaves. They are able to use wavelengths that canopy plants cannot. In temperate deciduous forests towards the end of the leafless season, understory plants take advantage of the shelter of the still leafless canopy plants to "leaf out" before the canopy trees do; this is important because it provides the understory plants with a window in which to photosynthesize without the canopy shading them. This brief period is a crucial period in which the plant can maintain a net positive carbon balance over the course of the year; as a rule forest understories experience higher humidity than exposed areas. The forest canopy reduces solar radiation, so the ground does not heat up or cool down as as open ground; the understory dries out more than more exposed areas do. The greater humidity encourages epiphytes such as ferns and mosses, allows fungi and other decomposers to flourish.
This drives nutrient cycling, provides favorable microclimates for many animals and plants, such as the pygmy marmoset. Overgrazing Layers of rainforests https://www.eolss.net/sample-chapters/C10/E5-03-01-08.pdf
Pismo Beach, California
Pismo Beach is a city in San Luis Obispo County, in the Central Coast area of California, United States. The estimated population was 7,931 in 2014, up from 7,655 in the 2010 census, it is a cluster of cities in that area of San Luis Obispo County. The "Five Cities" is only three cities. Oceano is a Community Service Shell Beach is part of Pismo Beach; the first European land exploration of Alta California, the Spanish Portolà expedition, passed through the area, traveling up today's Price Canyon from Pismo Beach, where they camped on September 4, 1769. Franciscan missionary and expedition member Juan Crespi noted in his diary that they found a native village near the creek. Pismo Beach is located on the Rancho Pismo Mexican land grant made to José Ortega, grandson of José Francisco Ortega, in 1840. In 1846 José Ortega sold. John Michael Price bought most of the rancho from Sparks. Price established the town of Pismo Beach in 1891, his homestead is now Price Historical Park. His home is a registered historical landmark.
The name Pismo comes from the Chumash language word for tar, pismuʔ, gathered from tar springs in Price Canyon near Pismo Beach. The tar was a valuable product which the Chumash Indians used to caulk their seagoing canoes, called tomol, which traveled along the coast and out to the Channel Islands; the first wharf at Pismo was built in 1882, followed by a full-length pier built in 1924, financed and constructed by William Woodrow Ward, who allowed full use of it by the public. After it suffered considerable storm damage, the pier was renovated again in 1985. Pismo State Beach is named for the city of Pismo Beach; the neighborhoods of Shell Beach and Sunset Palisades were the site of a Chumash village, significant archeological sites are located in both areas. Shell Beach became agricultural land pea fields. Developer Floyd Calvert bought and developed the area in 1926. At first it was a local resort area. Sunset Palisades called Oilport, was the site of an oil refinery from 1907 until after World War II.
It is now residential. The Pismo clam was named for the long, wide beach where so many were once found, once in such abundance that they were harvested with plows. Clamming once drew thousands of clammers to Pismo during low tides, is still legal. Pismo Beach adopted the name "Clam Capital of the World" in the 1950s, though this motto is no longer used; the city still holds the Clam Festival every October, complete with clam chowder competitions and a clam-themed parade. At the southern end of Price Street upon first entering Pismo Beach, a gigantic concrete clam statue greets visitors; the oldest surf shop on the Central Coast is seen from the Pismo Clam. An eight-inch shell of the Pismo clam is on display at the Pismo Beach Chamber of Commerce. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 13.5 square miles. 3.6 square miles of it is land and 9.9 square miles of it is water. Pismo Creek enters the Pacific Ocean at Pismo Beach; the southern end of Pismo Beach runs alongside sand dunes, which are followed by eucalyptus trees which attract thousands of migrating monarch butterflies every November through February.
Meadow Creek is a short creek that runs through the Pismo Lake Ecological Reserve and hosts a variety of wildlife despite its urban surroundings, including beaver. The 2010 United States Census reported that Pismo Beach had a population of 7,655; the population density was 568.0 people per square mile. The racial makeup of Pismo Beach was 6,976 White, 50 African American, 41 Native American, 203 Asian, 11 Pacific Islander, 170 from other races, 204 from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino people of any race were 715 persons; the Census reported that 7,642 people lived in households, 13 lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, 0 were institutionalized. There were 3,834 households, out of which 619 had children under the age of 18 living in them, 1,710 were opposite-sex married couples living together, 267 had a female householder with no husband present, 102 had a male householder with no wife present. There were 235 unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, 39 same-sex married couples or partnerships.
1,372 households were made up of individuals and 578 had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 1.99. There were 2,079 families; the population was spread out with 1,020 people under the age of 18, 450 people aged 18 to 24, 1,555 people aged 25 to 44, 2,642 people aged 45 to 64, 1,988 people who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 51.8 years. For every 100 females, there were 93.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 91.4 males. There were 5,585 housing units at an average density of 414.4 per square mile, of which 2,336 were owner-occupied, 1,498 were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 2.5%. 4,658 people lived in owner-occupied hou
Salt Point State Park
Salt Point State Park is a state park in Sonoma County, United States. The park covers 6,000 acres on the coast of Northern California, with 20 miles of hiking trails and over 6 miles of a rough rocky coast line including Salt Point which protrudes into the Pacific Ocean; the park features the first underwater preserves in California. The constant impact of the waves forms the rocks into many different shapes; these rocks continue underwater providing a wide variety of habitats for marine organisms. The activities at Salt Point include hiking, fishing, scuba diving and many others; the weather is cool with fog and cold winds during the summer. The rocks of Salt Point are sedimentary sandstone. Due to the large amounts of sandstone, small cave-like features called tafoni can be found along the shore of Salt Point; this park is named for the formation of salt crystals in the cracks and crevices of the rocky coastline. The native Kashaya Pomo collected salt from this area for many years, they used abalone chisels to scrape the salt off the rocks.
In 1853, Samuel Duncan and Joshua Hendy built a sawmill on a ridge located above Salt Point. A couple of years they leased the land to a San Francisco company which quarried the sandstone, they used the sandstone to create the streets and buildings in San Francisco along with the naval facility at Mare Island. It is possible to see drill holes in the sandstone at Gerstle Cove and at the marine terrace just north of it. In 1870, Duncan sold his property to Lewis Gerstle, they used most of the land to graze their cattle. The eyebolts used to anchor ships down are still visible at Gerstle cove; this is where wood were loaded onto cargo ships. At first, they used wire cables anchored to the cliff side to load stone onto the ships. Two chutes were made. There was a horse-drawn railroad; the sawmill had a daily capacity of 18,000 board feet. Brush and grasslands cover the ground on the marine terraces. At higher staircase levels, a mixed fir forest of bishop pine and Douglas-fir is present intermixed with second growth coast redwood and tanoak.
At 1,000 feet there is a large open prairie where animals such as elk grazed. In addition, at an elevation of about 550 feet within Salt Point State Park is a pygmy forest including the Mendocino cypress, bishop pine and Arctostaphylos; the reason these trees do not attain their normal height is due to the acidic soils with minimal nutrients and a hardpan layer close to the surface. The native animals that roam the land include the black-tailed deer, coyote, gray fox, striped skunk, dozens of varieties of rodents such as squirrels and the field mouse. Bears and cougars range the area, although visitors see them; the forest and ocean shore area host a huge variety of birds, including pelicans, ospreys and oystercatchers. Steller's jay and ravens are common in unattended campsites in search of food. During April, kelp is not visible but it has started to grow. By August, the water is full of dark green seaweed that will provide a habitat for a variety of rockfish and other marine organisms; the coast of Sonoma County is known for its slow-growing red abalone.
It takes this abalone 10 years to reach a diameter of seven inches. Between the months of December and April, it is possible to see gray whales migrating south to Baja California for breeding. Stewarts Point State Marine Reserve & Stewarts Point State Marine Conservation Area, Salt Point State Marine Conservation Area and Gerstle Cove State Marine Reserve adjoin Salt Point State Park. Like underwater parks, these marine protected areas help conserve ocean wildlife and marine ecosystems; the coast in this park is lined with steep ocean cliffs. The rocks are formed by the continuous crashing of the waves; these rocks provide an array of tide pools. The rocks of Salt Point are sedimentary sandstone. All of these rocks are tilted; the rocks at the north end of the park's coast are younger than the rocks at the southern end. Salt Point is named for the tafoni where the ocean water crystallizes in the honeycomb like crevices; this tafoni is caused when the salt crystals interact with the sandstone making parts of the sandstone harden while other parts soften.
The layers of sedimentary rock show evidence of a deep-sea fan. A deep-sea fan is caused when there is dense, turbulent sediment filled water flowing down a submarine canyon; this dense water is called a turbidity current. Something that may cause a turbidity current are earthquakes or storms that create a submarine slide; when this sediment filled water leaves the end of the canyon it spreads out in a fan like shape. The sediment is thinner the farther away the sediment is from the submarine canyon. All of these layers of sedimentary rock are created thousands of feet below the ocean’s surface but now the layers are visible above the surface of the water; this is because the North American plate are moving against each other. While the oceanic plate is being subducted, the continental plate is scraping off the top layers of the oceanic plate bringing them to t