San Diego Bay Nonnative Sea Lavender Mapping and Control Project
Algerian sea lavender (Limonium ramosissimum) and European sea lavender (Limonium duriusculum) are invasive, nonnative perennial plants known to invade salt marsh and upland transitional habitats in coastal California in addition to disturbed inland habitats. While striking in appearance, these two species cause angst among coastal land managers and biologists when detected in salt marsh habitat in San Diego, California. These two species are difficult to eradicate and capable of invading and densely occupying tidal marsh habitat. If left unmanaged these species can displace native vegetation causing loss of breeding and foraging habitat for the endangered Belding’s savannah sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis beldingi) and extirpating local populations of the endangered salt marsh bird’s beak (Chloropyron maritimum ssp. maritimum).
In 2021, CBI received funding from the United States Fish and Wildlife Service Coastal Program and the San Diego National Wildlife Refuge Complex to determine the distribution of Algerian and European sea lavender and initiate a control program to eliminate these species from San Diego Bay to prevent degradation of salt marsh habitat and potential loss of endangered animal and plant populations. Project partners include the California Department of Parks and Recreation, Port of San Diego, United States Department of the Navy, and the San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuges.
This project is in partnership with the California Department of Transportation.