“Seagrass habitats are among the most productive and biologically diverse ecosystems on the planet. The most common type of seagrass in California is Zostera, or eelgrass, which grows under water in estuaries and in shallow coastal bays of the ecoregion. It is a flowering plant, not an alga, and occurs in dense beds. It helps prevent erosion and maintain stability near shore by anchoring sediment with its spreading rhizomes and slowing water flow. Eelgrass beds provide foraging, breeding, or nursery areas for invertebrates, fish, and birds.”

Coastal Wetlands

“This dataset distinguishes coastal wetlands from inland wetlands while retaining the attributes from the original National Wetlands Invertory (NWI) data.”


“Kelp Canopy along the shore of California.”

Coastal Shore Types

“This data set contains vector lines representing the shoreline and coastal habitats of California, classified according to the Environmental Sensitivity Index (ESI) classification system. ESI data characterize the marine and coastal environments and wildlife by their sensitivity to spilled oil. The ESI data include information for three main components: shoreline habitats, sensitive biological resources, and human-use resources. This data set is an aggregation of regional ESI data sets. Four regions were grouped into this data set in August 2010 to create a feature class with California coastwide extent. San Francisco Bay data was published in December 1998, Southern California data was published in April 2000, Central California data was published in June of 2006, and Northern California data was published in December of 2008.”