Today, the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks are one of the largest areas in California containing this Mediterranean-type habitat. Coastal sage scrub grows primarily in dry, foggy areas along the coast, and inland foothills and canyons where the marine layer can reach. If you’ve explored the trails of the Landmarks, chances are you’ve come across this unique habitat. Showing off a range of color, coastal sage scrub is an entire ecosystem consisting of a wide variety of plants, insects, mammals and birds, many of which are rare and rely on this particular habitat to survive.
Over the years, coastal sage scrub habitats on the Landmarks have been threatened by conversion of habitat to urbanization and invasive, non-native species. We are lucky that much of the Landmarks’ CSS habitats are relatively healthy and undisturbed, but it takes a lot of work to keep them that way and to restore more degraded areas. Irvine Ranch Conservancy, along with its partners OC Parks, City of Irvine and the City of Newport Beach, consistently works to maintain this natural habitat by executing large-scale restoration projects. To learn more about Irvine Ranch Conservancy, visit IRConservancy.org.