Photo: ©m01229

Location: Orange County, CA

Notable Features: Habitat for shorebirds, haul-out area for seals and sea lions.

Overview: When presidential proclamation 7264 was established the California Coastal National Monument, about 40 offshore rocks and islands in Orange County were not included. This is because of a Congressional withdrawal in the 1930s, which intended to temporarily reserve the Orange County offshore rocks and small islands for "park, scenic, or other public purposes"(1931 Act), and reserve three specific offshore rock clusters for the possibility of future lighthouses(1935 act). These lighthouses were never built. 

Some particularly significant public rocks and islands off the coast of Orange County in the Laguna Beach area provide important habitat for a wide variety of upper rocky intertidal species, as well as various shorebird species. Additionally, four rock locations – Bird Rock and Two Rocks off the City of Laguna Beach, San Juan Rocks off the City of Dana Point, and San Marcos Rocks off the southern portion of the City of San Clemente – provide important roosting habitat for seabirds (including cormorants and the Federally-listed brown pelican) and haul-out areas for seals and sea lions.

These rocks are a vital spot for many birds in the area. With an increase in visitors in the area, birds need a habitat untouched by humans- these offshore rocks and islands offer an area for resting, feeding and roosting.

These rocks and islands contain unique geologic formations and provide some of the last remaining undisturbed offshore habitat in southern California for a wide variety of migratory and resident birds and marine mammals and a rich diversity of upper intertidal species. The offshore areas are valued by nearby Coastal communities for their scenic, conservation and recreation values and contain nationally significant historical, cultural, natural, and scientific resources. 

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