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Scenic views and native vegetation images from parks within San Francisco Bay Area Network.

Air Quality at Point Reyes National Seashore

What’s in the Air?

Map of Point Reyes National Seashore in California
Point Reyes NS, California

Most visitors who come to national parks and seashores expect clean air and clear views. While Point Reyes National Seashore (NS), California, home to rocky headlands, sand beaches, open grasslands, brushy hillsides, and forested ridges, enjoys relatively good air quality due to the prevailing westerly marine flows, occasional air flows from the San Francisco Bay Area can degrade air quality. Air pollutants carried into the seashore can harm natural and scenic resources such as surface waters, soils, plants, and visibility.

How is air pollution affecting Point Reyes National Seashore?

  • Fine particles of air pollution sometimes cause haze in the park, affecting how well and how far visitors can see vistas and landmarks. more »
  • While low in comparison to other national park units, the deposition of nitrogen and sulfur compounds could affect biodiversity of lichen and plant communities. more »
  • Ozone levels are generally low, although a shift in the prevailing westerly winds can degrade air quality. more »
  • Low levels of toxics and heavy metals are present in lichens. more »

What is the National Park Service doing about air pollution at the park?

  • Monitoring fine particles and haze to assess status and trends. more »
  • Working with federal, state, and local agencies, industry, and public interest groups to develop strategies to reduce air pollution and protect and restore park resources. The NPS also reviews plans for development that may increase air pollution in national parks. more »
  • Using an environmentally-friendly alternative fuel vehicle fleet, encouraging park employees to carpool, improving energy efficiency, and implementing alternative energy sources at the seashore. Learn more about the steps Point Reyes NS is taking as part of the Climate Friendly Parks program.

Featured Content

Impacts icon

Pollutants including nitrogen, ozone, mercury, and fine particles affect resources such as streams, soils, and scenic vistas. Find out how on our Point Reyes NS Air Pollution Impacts web page.

Studies and Monitoring icon

Studies and monitoring help the NPS understand the environmental impacts of air pollution. Access air quality data and see what is happening with Studies and Monitoring at Point Reyes NS.

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Last Updated: December 30, 2016