Soil Ecology and Research Group

last update January 13, 2005


Point Loma

The Point Loma peninsula is a four mile stretch of land located at the entrance of the San Diego Bay. In 1852 the peninsula was designated to the Navy for research and training. Other agencies such as the City of San Diego, National Park Service, U.S. Coast Guard and the University of California have also acquired pieces ofland on the peninsula, but the Navy is still the dominant land holder. The Navy's land is broken up into 5 different commands: Space and Warfare Systems Center, the Submarine Base,Fleet Combat Training Center, Fleet Industrial Supply Command, and NAVSTA. The land has a unique combination of vegetation communities, some rare, consisting of southern coastal bluff scrub, maritime succulent scrub, Diegan coastal sage scrub, southernmaritime chaparral, and southern foredunes. In 1995 approximately 640 acres of Point Loma was designated as a national reserve to be protected and restored by the navy and other land holders on Point Loma. After 140 years of military and other use, many native areas have been destroyed. Disturbances, caused by theinstallation of pipelines and roads, leave areas denuded and vulnerable tosoil loss through erosion. Bare areas are also susceptible to the introduction of invasive exotic plant species such as Acacia (Acacia cyclops) and iceplant (Carpobrotus edulis) which have the ability to invade neighboring undisturbed areas. The U.S. Navy and the Soil Ecology and Restoration Group (SERG) have undertaken research to successfully and costeffectively restore disturbed areas on Point Loma. Experiments are being carried out to determine the most effective way to remove exotics and successfully establish native plants. In addition, biodegradable erosion control methods are being tested toprovide temporary slope stabilization until plants take over. Soil analyses are done comparing soil from disturbed and undisturbed areas and can be used as a gauge of soil recovery over time. This research will also provide useful information for preserving, restoring, and increasing the value of land on Point Loma and other coastal sage habitats.

South Tank before restoration -Feb 1996

South Tank after restoration -Apr 2001

Bayview before restoration -Feb 1996

Bayview after restoration -Apr 2001

Erosion Slope before restoration -Mar 1996

Erosion slope after restoration -Apr 2001

McClelland Road before restoration -May 1997

McClelland Road after restoration -Apr 2001

Ashburn Road before restoration -Oct 1997

Ashburn Road after restoration -Apr 2001


Submarine Base (May 8, 2001)
Fleet Combat Training Center (FCTCP) (November 10, 2003)
Fleet Industrial Supply Center (FISC)
Space and Warfare Research Systems Center (SPAWAR) (April 15, 2001)
Plant Species Management/Protection Enhancement of Orcutt's Spineflower Habitat at Point Loma Naval Complex (November 18. 2001)
Point Loma Ecological Reserve (March 18, 2004)

Vegetation Plan (January 13, 2005)

Erosion Plan (January 13, 2005)