Irving and Jean Stone
Sounding Seas Beach Reserve
In 2009, The Wildlands Conservancy (TWC) purchased two-and-a-half miles of ocean frontage and sand dunes that were situated between the beaches at the Eel River Estuary Preserve. This was accomplished through a grant from the Irving and Jean Stone Foundation. The Sounding Seas Beach appears to be endless as far as the eye can see, and one can imagine what explorers and Native Americans experienced in the early days of California. The beach is an important habitat for the snowy plover, a federally endangered species with only 2,000 birds surviving.
The sand dunes have been impacted by non-native beach grass and extensively damaged by off-road vehicle use. The federally endangered Beach Layia, Layia carnosa, flourishes outside areas impacted by beach grass and off-road vehicles. A research monitoring team recently documented a snowy plover fatality caused by an off-road vehicle. It has been a practice for off-road vehicle drivers to ride out to the point of the estuary to watch hundreds of harbor seals and their pups flee to the water, and thousands of sea gulls and brown pelicans flee to the sky to escape the threat of the vehicles. This practice will cease with TWC stewardship and imperiled species will once again flourish with dune restoration.
Visitor Opportunities and Access
Sounding Seas Beach and sand dunes may be reached by hiking north from Centerville Beach County Park at the end of Centerville Road west of Ferndale, California. For additional information contact TWC's headquarters at 909.797.8507.