Kenneth S. Norris Rancho Marino Reserve Reserve Information

Contact - Waivers - Rules - Rates - Directions

Contact Information

Kenneth S. Norris Rancho Marino Reserve
University of California, Santa Barbara

393 Ardath Drive
Cambria, 93428


ALL visitors must sign and return a waiver agreement prior to visiting a reserve.
If your application is approved, the group leader (person who is listed as contact for the requested activity) will be responsible for ensuring that all necessary waivers are submitted to reserve staff prior to the proposed visit. Waiver agreements for minors must be signed by the parent or legal gardian.

PDF link
Main Waiver
- ALL USERS (even UC visitors) must sign this waiver
PDF link
Group Signature Form
- If you have a group of adults, you may attach this Group Signature Form to the Reserve Waiver.
PDF link
Photo Consent Form
- Consent for the University to use all and any images or sounds of you appearing in photographs, videos, or audio tape recordings taken on the reserve
PDF link

Reserve Rules and Regulations

***Thank you for your interest in the UC Natural Reserve System. The Kenneth S. Norris Rancho Marino Reserve is currently closed to all use until further notice. ***

The Kenneth S. Norris Rancho Marino Reserve provides University researchers and classes access to one of the most spectacular stretches of relatively undisturbed coastal habitats in central California. Located 90 miles north of Pt. Conception, it is situated in the coast’s most significant bio-geographical transition area for both marine and terrestrial communities. Its diverse habitats include extensive rocky shoreline (~3 kilometers), near shore kelp forests, coastal prairie (grazed and ungrazed), a mixed Monterey pine (Pinus radiata) and coast live oak (Quercus agrifolia) forest (91 hectares/225 acres), and coastal scrub (17.5 hectares/43 acres). Seven registered archaeological sites on the reserve date back to 5,000 B.P. Flanking the reserve is a section of one of the largest kelp beds in California, a combination of giant kelp (Macrocystis pyrifera) and bull kelp (Nereocystis luetkeana). Withering foot syndrome has killed much of the black abalone (Haliotis cracherodii) population south of the reserve. The reserve’s southernmost healthy black abalone population is being monitored by UCSC researchers. In September 2007 the waters off of the reserve became part of the statewide network of Marine Protected Areas (MPA). All researchers and class users planning to collect offshore of the reserve must possess a California State Fish and Game Scientific collecting permit, specifying the White Rock MPA as a collection site. Roughly one-quarter of the reserve harbors patches of coastal terrace prairie (among the most threatened and diverse plant communities in North America) with healthy populations of native grasses and flowers. The reserve is located at the southern end of the range of coastal terrace prairie. There is an active grazing program designed to reduce non-native vegetation and increase remnant native plant cover. Areas of Harding grass (Phalaris aquatica) and other non-native species provide areas for restoration studies. A small population of red-legged frogs (Rana aurora) are found in the reserve’s smaller stock pond. The larger pond (0.5 hectares/1.2 acre) has non-native fishes. Monterey pine forest runs along the site’s ridge top and slopes — the Cambria area is the southern most area in the U.S. where remnant native stands are still found. Coast live oaks are an abundant understory species. A current ora of terrestrial vascular plants lists approximately 170 species. Over 100 species of birds have been identified on the reserve. The site is suitable for year-round use and well located within reasonable driving distance from several UC campuses: 2.5 hours from UCSB, 3 hours from UCSC, and 4.5 hours from UCLA or UCB.

* The reserve remains privately owned. It is operated under a use agreement that limits use to university-level research and education.
-- For this reason ALL USERS (even UC visitors) are required to sign the Ken Norris Rancho Marino Waiver Form.
-- All firearms are prohibited on any University of California property of the Regents of UC at any time, pursuant to the California Penal Code, Sections 629.9 (h) and 629.9 (i).


Thank you for your interest in the UC Natural Reserve System. The Kenneth S. Norris Rancho Marino Reserve is currently closed to all use until further notice.

UC Rate 2017-18 Non-UC Rate 2017-18
Day Use Only (per day) $ 0.00 $ 0.00
Meeting area with kitchen (per day) $ 16.00 $ 25.04
Miscellaneous (per unit) $ 0.00 $ 0.00
Road Ranger trailer (per night) $ 16.00 $ 25.04
Camping Space (per night) $ 4.00 $ 6.26
TerraCruiser travel trailer (per night) $ 16.00 $ 25.04
Wilderness travel trailer (per night) $ 16.00 $ 25.04
Reserve Director Rate (per hour) $ 73.00 $ 114.25
Reserve Steward Rate (per hour) $ 21.00 $ 32.87


San Luis Obispo County, bordering the south end of the town of Cambria, on the coast, at the west end of Ardath Dr.