Bodega Marine Reserve

Bodega Marine Reserve

Bodega Marine Reserve (BMR), the 362-acres surrounding the Bodega Marine Laboratory, provides protected lands for research and education. Researchers and students come to investigate habitats remarkably diverse for such a small area. Subtidal, rocky intertidal, mudflat, sandy beach, fresh and saltwater marsh, coastal grassland and dune communities are all within walking distance. The site is well known for the strength of wind-driven coastal upwelling and the complex geology of the San Andreas fault.

Reserve staff coordinate research on the reserve and support field investigations for Laboratory visitors working from San Francisco to Point Arena. The Reserve is part of the UC Natural Reserve System, a network of 36 field stations throughout the State. 

Fieldwork at BML/BMR

See Planning Fieldwork at BML/BMR.

You must apply to use the Bodega Marine Reserve and adjacent areas before you begin your research or instruction.

Resources and Information

To provide background information in support of current research and to develop opportunities for new research, we monitor climate, vegetation, and selected animal populations. Monitoring programs include meteorological and oceanographic stations, a series of ground-based photographic stations taken several times yearly, a series of aerial photographs covering the Reserve taken once each year, and periodic censuses of wintering shorebirds.

BMR has species information lists for vascular plants, lichens, birds, mammals, marine invertebrates (partial), ants and bees. We are working to expand the invertebrates list and to add a marine algae list. These will permit prospective users to assess the suitability of our site to support particular research or class use and will assist students in identification of organisms and in learning the natural history of the site.

Seasonal marker buoys and moorings were deployed in 2005 to begin delineating the boundaries of the Bodega State Marine Reserve, which is a no-take zone, extending 1000 feet offshore alongside the Reserve. These seasonal buoys will be lifted before the winter storms each year and redeployed the following spring. and will help to inform fishing boats of the location of Refuge boundaries, increasing our protection of this valuable research resource.

BMR includes all of the 326 acre UC property except for two development enclaves in the immediate vicinities of existing laboratory and dormitory buildings. The adjoining Bodega State Marine Reserve (formerly Bodega Marine Life Refuge) and leased tidelands in Bodega Harbor are managed as part of the Reserve, adding important intertidal and subtidal habitats. A 20 acre section of the adjacent State Park supporting a native dune scrub community also is set aside for Reserve research use.