Since beginning the exploration of California’s ecological history decades ago, I quickly became aware of the lush coastal grasslands bathed in summer fog and Pacific winter storm fronts, as I discovered my childhood house in the East Bay on the El Cerrito-Berkeley Hills was once coastal prairie.
The place is now converted to urban streets, houses, and exotic trees and gardens, with little hint of what the landscape was like 200 years ago.
As I delved deeper into trying to reconstruct California’s natural past, I found remnants of coastal prairie all along the California Coast, and my research evolved into the writing my book on pre-European contact California landscapes and wildlife.
This blog seeks to focus on the coastal prairies that I have studied, their ecology, identification, geography, history, threats, and avenues towards conservation and restoration. I will also discuss wildlife that is associated with coastal prairies, past and present.
The fields of science, natural history observation, art, illustration, writing, and advocacy are my tools of choice towards including a broader audience in sharing my appreciation for this increasingly rare natural community that once formed the dominant scene along the Pacific Coast of the Golden State.
Let’s explore the coastal prairie!