Pillar Point reef, south of San Francisco on the San Mateo coast and home to the famous Maverick’s Surf Contest, is a diverse, rocky, intertidal site adjacent to the Montara State Marine Reserve. When the reserve was established as a California State Marine Protected Area in 2007, the Pillar Point reef was excluded from the reserve boundaries as a control site for comparison purposes. There have been few on-going intertidal monitoring programs in place on the reef, however, until now.

In partnership with the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary, the California Academy of Sciences is documenting the biodiversity of Pillar Point reef through large-scale bioblitzes, long-term citizen science monitoring, and casual observation. By 2014, our citizen scientists had documented more than 350 species, building a baseline species list for Pillar Point.

Share This

Experience the wonder

Visit an aquarium, planetarium, rainforest, and natural history museum—all under one living roof.

Documenting Biodiversity Blog

Keep up with our day-to-day efforts by following the Document Biodiversity blog, maintained by members of the Academy's Citizen Science department. 

Visit the Naturalist Center

Located on Level 3, the Naturalist Center is the Academy's home of interactive learning. Touch specimens, ask questions, or join one of our daily programs, all free with admission.