The mission of the Natural Reserve System is to contribute to the understanding and wise management of the Earth and its natural systems by supporting university-level teaching, research, and public service at protected natural areas throughout California. UC Santa Barbara manages seven diverse reserves including Coal Oil Point, a largely undisturbed system of coastal dunes that support a rich assemblage of dune vegetation and have become a nesting site for the endangered Snowy Plover. Located adjacent to the UC Santa Barbara campus, the reserve provides a unique and accessible research and teaching resource. It is used by many university courses for field studies. The reserve is also used and enjoyed by school children for field trips, birders, and the general public. Gifts to the Coal Oil Point Reserve support one of the most pristine examples of a coastal-strand environment in Southern California.