Restoration Efforts

The most significant remnant fragment of the prairie is 30 acres, located in the lee of the El Segundo dunes at the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). Preliminary restoration efforts were undertaken by Mattoni for the least disturbed areas from 1988-1994. Non-native plants were cleared by hand. Three of the extirpated annuals of the prairie floor were successfully reintroduced from local stock: Phacelia distans, Castilleja exserta and Plantago erecta. The restoration project led by Mattoni was terminated in 1994 when LAX hired a consultant to explore expansion of the airport; access to the site for further research has not been allowed.

The description and historical composition of the coastal prairie is important to future restoration efforts. Because of published errors about the historical extent of the El Segundo dunes, some restoration efforts have attempted to re-establish dune vegetation across areas of the prairie. The description of the Los Angeles Coastal Prairie given here should inform restoration efforts, as well as aid in the identification of previously overlooked fragments of these habitats in the urban mosaic.