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Abbotts Lagoon facts for kids

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Abbotts Lagoon
A lake surrounded by hedges, grasses and sand dunes
Location of the lagoon in California, USA.
Location of the lagoon in California, USA.
Abbotts Lagoon
Location in California
Location of the lagoon in California, USA.
Location of the lagoon in California, USA.
Abbotts Lagoon
Location in the United States
Location Marin County, California
Coordinates 38°7′3″N 122°57′12″W / 38.11750°N 122.95333°W / 38.11750; -122.95333
Type lagoon
Primary outflows Pacific Ocean
Basin countries United States
Surface elevation sea level

Abbotts Lagoon is a two-stage lagoon on the northwestern coast of the Point Reyes National Seashore, southwest of Tomales Point, in California, United States. The upper lagoon is a fresh water impoundment which overflows into a lower brackish level with occasional winter tidal exchange. The eastern shore of the lagoon is covered with old growth northern coastal scrub including coyote bush, yellow bush lupine, sword fern and California blackberry.


Abbotts Lagoon is usually separated from the Pacific Ocean by dune sand to the west. The eastern side of the lagoon is bordered by Miocene marine sediments to the north and Pliocene marine sediments to the south from sedimentary rock formations on the western side of the San Andreas Fault. Santa Margarita Sandstone atop the Monterey Formation forms a ridge along the southern side of the valley containing the upper lagoon, and is exposed along the eastern shoreline of the lower lagoon.


Coast Miwok lived in the area prior to 19th century European colonization. Land surrounding the lagoon was used for cattle and dairy ranching by the 1870s. Abbotts Lagoon was variously identified as Abbott's Lagoon Bombing Target, Abbott's Lagoon Target Area, Abbott's Lagoon Bombing Range, and Bombing Range Number Two while used as a dive bomber practice area by pilots from Alameda Naval Air Station and Santa Rosa outlying field from 1941 to 1952. The lagoon was designated part of Point Reyes National Seashore in 1962.


Walking trails provide access to observe the birds and wild flowers of the locally unique habitats surrounding Abbotts Lagoon. Brush rabbits, black-tailed jackrabbits, pocket gophers, muskrats, river otter and black-tailed deer may be seen around the lagoon. Coyote, bobcat, gray fox, long-tailed weasel, striped skunk, raccoon, badger, and cougar are rarely seen.


Abbott's Lagoon (37375p)
Great blue heron at Abbotts Lagoon

Bird species observed at Abbotts Lagoon include:


Abbotts Lagoon is the location of the single remaining natural population of the endangered plant species Sonoma spineflower (Chorizanthe valida).

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