Scripps Coastal Reserve San Diego California Earth Day travel sanctuaries around the world

Earth day 2022 - travel sanctuaries around the world

Thomas Morris
Authored by Thomas Morris
Posted: Friday, April 22, 2022 - 00:00

Earth day 2022 - travel sanctuaries around the world

Every year on 22 April, the world marks Earth Day. It is an occasion to raise awareness and show support for the protection of the environment, with actions organised worldwide around a common message: save the Earth. Here, we look at 13 travel sanctuaries and nature conservation areas around the world. These top holiday destinations are taking action all year round to rekindle our planet...


Scripps Coastal Reserve: San Diego -  California

Scripps Coastal Reserve is a beautiful natural reserve system in La Jolla, San Diego. Managed by the University of California, the 126 acre stretch of land is used primarily for teaching and research by the university but is open to the public with guided walks on select days. There are two distinct parts to the reserve - the shoreline and marine protected area, and the upland area (known as the ‘Knoll’) - each with huge ecological significance. 


Everglades National Park celebrates 75th Anniversary - Florida’s Paradise Coast

Earth day 2022 travel sanctuaries around the world Everglades National Park FloridaExplore the wild side of Florida’s Paradise Coast with the UNESCO World Heritage Site Everglades National Park. This year the park will celebrate its 75th anniversary, so there’s no better time to switch off from city life and get out to experience nature at its finest. Located in Southwest Florida, the Paradise Coast sits on the Gulf of Mexico and comprises three distinct areas, including Naples, Marco Island and the Everglades. The best way to experience the Everglades’ wilderness is by guided tour via kayak, airboat, paddle, on board a WaveRunner or swamp walking on foot. Visitors will have the opportunity to spot over 200 different species of birds, manatees, dolphins, alligators (the only place in the world where both cohabit) as well as the rare ghost orchid and Florida Panther. Florida’s Paradise Coast


Greater Farallones National Marine & Farallon National Wildlife Refuge,  - California

Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary protects 3,295 square miles off the northern and central California coast. It’s an oceanic Eden, where the sea swirls with marine life. Gray, humpback and blue whales, as well as orcas, all visit in different seasons, while pods of porpoises, dolphins, sea lions and seals hang around throughout the year. More life lives on or around the dramatic Farallon Islands, almost barren lumps that rise out of the sea 30 miles west of the Golden Gate Bridge. Sea lions and seals are found here, and the skies fill with countless seabirds. Farallon National Wildlife Refuge protects the largest seabird rookery in the contiguous US, with nesting species including tufted puffins, rhinoceros auklets and pigeon guillemots.


Union Bay Natural Area - Seattle

An important habitat next to Lake Washington, the Union Bay Natural Area is a natural restoration laboratory and public wildlife area. At 74 acres and four miles of shoreline, it stands as the second natural system left on the lake. Over 200 species of birds can be found here and it is considered one of the best bird watching sites in the city. Notable for its collection of diverse habitats including lakes, ponds, woods and marshlands, blue herons, turtles and frogs can be spotted.


Aiken Canyon Preserve - Colorado 

One of the last high quality examples of the southern Foot Range foothills ecosystem, this preserve is a treasure trove of flora and fauna where rich colours meet the eye and eccentric landscapes can be witnessed. Composed of a mosaic of habitats including pinyon juniper woodlands, shrublands and tallgrass prairie meadows the reserve features beautiful canyon systems, distinctive shrubland birds and a tallgrass prairie butterfly community. Nestled in Colorado Springs, travellers can bird watch, hike, wildlife or flower watch at this charming natural attraction.


Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias, Yosemite Mariposa County - California 

Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias Yosemite Mariposa County Earth day 2022 travel sanctuariesLocated in the southern portion of Yosemite, the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias is the largest sequoia grove in Yosemite and is home to over 500 mature giant sequoias. In 1864 President Lincoln signed legislation protecting the Mariposa Grove and Yosemite Valley for "public use, resort, and recreation." The oldest Yosemite giant sequoia may exceed 3,000 years in age. Among the most popular specimens in the grove is the Fallen Monarch which was made famous for an 1899 photograph of the US Cavalry officers on their horses up on top. Another must-visit tree if the Bachelor and Three Graces. This beautiful cluster is a very popular spot for photos. The most famous tree in the grove is the Grizzly Giant, one of the largest trees in the Mariposa Grove and, at an estimated age of 2,700 years, one of the oldest living sequoia.


The Sacramento Valley Conservancy - California 

The Sacramento Valley Conservancy’s mission is to preserve the beauty, character and biodiversity of the Sacramento Valley landscape by protecting and stewarding more than 18,000 acres of natural and working lands and scenic open spaces for the benefit of current and future generations. It was founded in 1990 on two basic principles: open lands are necessary for quality of life and we must care for the land today so future generations may enjoy its physical and spiritual benefits tomorrow. Find out more from Amy Rodrigues, Communications and Marketing Director of Sacramento Valley Conservancy, who shares what the conservancy does, how you can get out and visit Camp Pollock on the American River, how you can hike in the Deer Creek Hills Preserve and more  on the Visit Sacramento Podcast.


Coachella Valley Preserve, Greater Palm Springs - California 

The Coachella Valley National Wildlife Refuge is contained within the Coachella Valley Preserve, it is a 3,709-acre protected area. The refuge contains the majority of critical habitat for the Coachella Valley Fringe-toed Lizard which depends on the unusual blowsand desert for survival, and ‘swims’ through the sand to escape predators or summer heat on the desert surface. Four other unique wildlife species can also be found here: the Coachella round tailed ground squirrel, the giant red velvet mite, the flat-tailed horned lizard and the giant palm-boring beetle.


The Association of Whistler Area Residents for the Environment - Canada 

Beautiful mountain vistas, ancient forests, crystal clear lakes and rivers and fresh, clean air. Much of what makes Whistler such a unique and memorable destination lies in its awe-inspiring and pristine natural surroundings. The Whistler community cares deeply for the environment and strives to preserve the area's natural beauty by taking meaningful steps towards the resort's vision of sustainability. The Association of Whistler Area Residents for the Environment (AWARE) has been working for the Whistler environment since 1989. A membership-based charity, AWARE strives to improve quality of life in Whistler and protect shared natural heritage through on-the-ground projects, engaging events, education and advocacy. AWARE's continual focus is on: connecting people and nature; building a sustainable community; and safeguarding habitat, biodiversity and wilderness values.


Zelenci Nature Reserve - Slovenia 

Zelenci Nature Reserve Earth day 2022 travel sanctuaries around the worldProtected in 1992, the Zelenci Nature Reserve can be found behind the village of Podkoren where many interesting plant species, including carnivorous sundews and amphibians are housed, as well as nesting birds. At 1,200 metres long and 150 metres wide, the Drni marsh is a unique wetland filled with colour and an amazing landscape. Attracting many travellers, the area is laced with underwater sources, water windows and winding river beds in the lower bog. Located on the west side of the Drni march is the breathtaking emerald green Lake Zelenci which stretches to three metres long. The river never freezes with  the constant temperature standing at six degrees.


The Albufera - Valencia, Spain

Spain’s largest freshwater lagoon sits just above the city of Valencia and spans more than 2,800 hectares. Home to over 300 different species of birds, including waterfowl and flamingos, the Albufera has been designated as a Ramsar Wetland of International Importance and a Special Protection Area (ZEPA). Visitors can learn more about the park’s bird life and birdwatch at the observation tower which offers a panoramic view of the park. Green in the summer, blue in the winter when water floods the fields, the lagoon transforms with the seasons. Visit in the summer to relax in the sun between the rugged vegetation and the sea on wild beaches like L’Arbre de Gos, Devesa, El Saler and La Garrofera.


Shiga Highland Biosphere Reserve - Japan

Japan is home to 7,000 types of plants, 1,000 species of animals and more than 70,000 species of insects. The country’s forests, wetlands, mountains and coral reefs are complex and interdependent ecosystems inhabited by rare and endemic creatures such as the red-crowned crane and Hokuriku salamander. In Japan there are ten UNESCO Biosphere Reserves, one being the Shiga Highland Biosphere Reserve in central Honshu. Spreading over two prefectures, the reserve is a mixture of mountains, river terraces and forests, with Mt. Shirane in the southwest being an active volcano. The ecosystem makes the region an incredible place to ski and enjoy natural hot springs.


Educational Managed Marine Area (EMMA) - The Islands of Tahiti 

Educational Managed Marine Area Tahiti Earth day 2022 travel sanctuaries around the worldFirst launched in 2013 in the Marquesas Islands of French Polynesia, an Educational Managed Marine Area (EMMA) is a small coastal area that is managed ‘in a participatory manner’ by school pupils and volunteers. This project has a strong education focus; informing younger generations on the importance of conserving the marine environment, and engaging them in this action. EMMA engages both schools and local administrations. EMMA is founded upon the principles of ‘understanding, sharing and managing the sea’. These principles are split into three pillars, which are entitled: 1) Knowing the Sea; 2) Experiencing the Sea; and 3) Talking about the Sea. Each school involved in an EMMA has to design and implement their own marine area management project. Activities include the conducting of an ecological survey of a chosen area, carried out by children assisted by scientific teams.

Share this