California Department of Parks and Recreation

Mission Statement

The mission of the California Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) is to provide for the health, inspiration, and education of the people of California by helping to preserve the State's extraordinary biological diversity, protecting its most valued natural and cultural resources, and creating opportunities for high-quality outdoor recreation.

Major Roles and Responsibilities in Wetlands Management

The Department has a major role in the protection, restoration, and interpretation of the State's wetlands. A primary goal for DPR is the preservation of the State's biological diversity and the protection of its valued natural resources including wetlands. DPR manages over 265 park units, including over 280 miles of coastline and 250 miles of rivers. Many of the coastal units contain river mouths with coastal lagoons and estuaries.

Wetlands restoration is a high priority in the Department's Resource Management Program and is pursued in all California bioregions. For example, DPR's coastal area projects focus on the restoration of natural hydrologic conditions and the re-establishment of native plant communities while its riparian restoration projects focus on the restoration of altered channel morphology through the application of bioengineering. Examples of major wetland restoration projects include coastal wetlands at Pescadero Marsh Natural Preserve in San Mateo County, Wilder Beach Natural Preserve in Santa Cruz County, San Simeon State Park in San Luis Obispo County, Gaviota State Park in Santa Barbara County, and Tijuana Estuary Natural Preserve in San Diego County. Significant riparian restoration efforts have undertaken in numerous State Parks including Humboldt Redwoods State Park in Humboldt County, Washoe Meadows State Park in the Lake Tahoe Basin, Picacho State Recreation Area along Colorado River, and Anza-Borrego Desert State Park in San Diego County.

DPR is also involved in wetlands protection and restoration through the administration of local grants programs, such as the California Land and Water Conservation Fund and the Habitat Conservation Grant Program. Both of these programs include priorities for wetlands acquisition and restoration.

DPR provides educational opportunities, such as guided tours and interpretive displays, for park visitors to increase their understanding and appreciation of wetlands.

Legal Mandate

In addition to being included in DPR's primary mission, wetlands preservation is also a mandated responsibility under the Keene-Nejedly California Wetlands Preservation Act of 1976 (Pub. Res. Code Div. 5, Ch. 7). The Act directs DPR, along with the Department of Fish and Game, to recognize opportunities for protecting wetlands which lie within or adjacent to State Park System units, and to consider acquisition of wetlands in proximity of State Parks. In addition to lands directly owned by DPR, the Department also has certain jurisdiction over granted or ungranted tidelands or submerged lands abutting State Park System lands (Pub. Res. Code 5003.5).

For more information on the California Deparment of Parks and Recreation contact:


John Arnold,, (916) 653-7090

Mailing address:
California Department of Parks and Recreation
P.O. Box 942896
Sacramento, CA 94296-0001



This file last modified on: Thursday, January 24, 2002.
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