The most significant piece of natural capital that the community of Encinitas, California has to offer has to be it’s beautiful Pacific coastline. The city’s geographic location, on the coast of Southern California, provides the community with unmatched aesthetics as well as access to beach and ocean-related recreational and commercial activities. The beaches of Encinitas are a perfect example of a natural amenity, providing a natural feature which cannot be recreated or transferred in the form of the views and opportunities they have to offer.
In Encinitas, 95 percent of residents live within walking distance to some kind of recreation, with beaches being one of these. Also, in a survey sent out by the Encinitas Department of Parks and Recreation, residents rated beaches and beach viewpoints the highest for level of importance and level of needs met, illustrating that community beaches are a popular and successful part of the community’s natural capital (Encinitas Parks and Recreation Commission, 2016).
The San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy is doing great work in helping to conserve and protect the beaches and watershed of Encinitas. This group is a nonprofit land trust and they focus on education, conservation, and restoration for the important San Elijo Lagoon. The SELC hosts many community events, one being the recent California Coastal Cleanup day in which members of the community were invited to help remove invasive plants along with plastics and trash which would harm the local coastal ecology (Sal Elijo Lagoon Conservancy, 2016).
The beaches of Encinitas are a staple for the community. By providing recreational activities such as surfing and swimming, along with commercial opportunities and unmatched aesthetics, Encinitas beaches establish themselves as a defining factor of the communities’ everyday life.
Encinitas Parks and Recreation Commission. (2016). Parks, Beaches, Trails, and Open Space Master Plan [Powerpoint slides]. Retrieved from http://encinitasca.gov/modules/showdocument.aspx?documentid=8005
San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy. (2016). #LoveYourLagoon. Retrieved from http://www.sanelijo.org/welcome