The Eco-Friendly San Elijo Lagoon Visitors Center in Cardiff, California

Real Estate Agent with Solutions Real Estate CA DRE #01490977

The San Elijo Lagoon Visitors Center and Preserve in Cardiff, California - Jeff Dowler

We are so blessed to have the lagoons, like the San Elijo Lagoon in Cardiff, along the Southern California coast, and for the work that has been done to rescue them from deterioration and destruction and to preserve them for residents and visitors to enjoy.

Most of California's coastal wetlands are gone forever due to roads and other construction, so we are fortunate to have the ones in our area that have been preserved. 


A Walk Along the Batiquitos Lagoon Trail in Carlsbad

The Aqua Hedionda Lagoon in Carlsbad 

The San Elijo Lagoon Visitors Center and Preserve in Cardiff, California - Jeff DowlerThe San Elijo Lagoon is an estuary (where fresh water creeks meet salt water from the ocean), located at the south end of Cardiff and bordering Solana Beach. This lagoon is different from its Carlsbad neighbors in terms of how it is formed and its size, but is beautiful in its own right, with a wealth of birds (sea and land), other wildlife, and a multitude of flowers and plants.

The 5525 SF 2-story San Elijo Visitors Center was just completed and open to the public at the end of January, and is a remarkable place to visit. Affording wonderful views of the lagoon and marsh areas, the building is both a testament to education and conservancy, and to environmental sensitivity. 

The town, the architects, and the builder are to be commended for this attractive facility with large windows allowing wonderful views of the lagoon preserve, and which incorporates so many "green" features, along with water conserving and energy efficient components. 

Homes and the Visitors center overlooking the San Elijo Lagoon Visitors Center and Preserve in Cardiff, California - Jeff DowlerGREEN FEATURES (with a LEED "gold" rating) include:  high recycled content materials for building (decorative glass, plastics, steel, rebar), exhibit facings and signage made from recycled plastic bottles, "plyboo" (made from bamboo) cabinetry, low and No VOC paints, materials and sealers, building insulation made from recycled denim (just think of those old jeans!). 

ENERGY EFFICIENT FEATURES include a radiant heat system in the floor, sola-tubes for lighting, low-E windows and doors, a Cool Roof (light colored) reduces heat gain, high efficiency lighting, solar panels (52% of the building's energy) and the positioning of the building to take advantage of day light and heat.

WATER CONSERVATION INCLUDES recycled water for irrigation and toilets, drought tolerant plants and landscaping, and water saving faucets and dual control toilets. 

The San Eljio Lagoon Visitors Center...a beautiful lagoon, a dramatic center of education and preservation, and testament to the environment and energy efficiency.



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Marlene Bridges
Village Real Estate Services, Inc. - Laguna Hills, CA
Laguna Homes|Laguna Condos|Laguna Real Estate

Hi Jeff - What a lovely post. The wetlands are certainly disappearing and it is a blessing to have them. Fortunately there were some forward thinking people in Cardiff.

Feb 24, 2009 02:43 PM #1
William Johnson
Retired - La Jolla, CA
Retired Real Estate Professional

Hi Jeff, This is a wonderful and informative post.  I especially loved your shadow as you snapped those photos, :-)

Feb 24, 2009 03:32 PM #2
Betina Foreman
WJK Realty - Austin, TX
Realtor, C.N.E., with WJK REALTY
What an interesting post on the lagoon. I liked the photo with your shadow on the boardwalk. Thanks for keeping us informed!
Feb 25, 2009 01:39 AM #3
Lisa Hill
Florida Property Experts - Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Beach Real Estate

LOL at your shadow =P But I have a question. Since you mentioned the water saving faucets, I've always wondered why it has to be all or nothing? Those restrictions are not required in Florida, but we did put one in our shower at one time. It cut the water flow in half. But then we didn't have enough water pressure. If I had the money, I'd patent a restrictor that cut off only 1/3 of the water flow. That way we could save water, but still have enough pressure. So do you guys have choices? Or do you only have one kind?

Feb 25, 2009 11:49 AM #4
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Marlene - so true. I am so thankful for what we still have and this particular lagoon is really a pleasure to visit.

William - thanks. Somehow I always find myself with these shadow pics.

Betina - thanks for stopping by to read.

Lisa - these things are not required but it seems that there are many more choices these days for saving water with faucets and such. Not sure if there are gradations of not. One would think with the technology that this would not be difficult. I also think that having higher pressure with the shower is different with a sink faucet.


Feb 25, 2009 01:21 PM #5
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