LAX Dunes

LAX Dunes

The LAX Dunes (also known as The Los Angeles/El Segundo Dunes, which lie between the west end of the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and the Pacific Ocean, are the largest remaining representation of coastal dune community within Southern California. The 302-acre Dune site is owned and managed by Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA). The site provides habitat for over 900 species, some of which cannot be found anywhere else on Earth.  It is home to the beautiful and delicate federally endangered El Segundo Blue Butterfly, and other rare plant, animal, and insect species.

The El Segundo blue butterfly is endemic to coastal sand dunes that contain suitable conditions for the early stages, larval food plants, adult nectar sources, and adult feeding, perching, and courtship areas. Urban development and invasion by exotic species have resulted in a significant loss and modification of the species’ habitat. Protection and management of existing and potential habitat, removal of exotic vegetation, and reduction of other threats to the species and/or its habitat is needed.


No matter your size, every bit helps.

Adopt-A-Dune Program

The LAX Adopt-a-Dune Program was created to provide an opportunity for organizations and their members to help care for and learn about their natural environment. Participation in LAX Adopt-a-Dune involved an organization’s commitment to organize 3-4 volunteer visits per year to receive training about coastal dunes restoration; to help care for their adopted coastal dunes area by removing invasive plants, weeds, trash and rubble; and to protect the sensitive resources in their adopted coastal dunes area from harm by their members and volunteers. To further the mission of the Adopt-A-Dune, in 2014, Friends of the LAX Dunes was created.


Volunteers taking a break after removing invasive plants from the dunes.


In 2014, the Friends of the LAX Dunes (FOLD) was formed to expand the mission of LAX’s Adopt-A-Dune program. In cooperation with LAX Dunes Preserve management, Girl Scout and Marymount student Ayanna Neal supervised the restoration of a portion of the northern area of the LAX Dunes for her Girl Scout Gold Award. To assure the project would be long-lasting and sustainable, Ayanna recruited leaders who formed the board for FOLD. Since its inception, hundreds of FOLD volunteers have pulled thousands of pounds of invasive plants that choke and crowd out native plants.

We need you!

Check out upcoming LAX Dunes volunteer opportunities on our Events Page! 

TBF provides all the tools and training but we need your help!

Selected Documents and Reference:

Ayanna Neal ’17 works to restore LAX Coastal Sand Dunes

Beach Bluffs Restoration Project Master Plan (2005)

El Segundo Blue Butterfly: Euphilotes battoides allyni (2005)

Los Angeles/El Segundo Dunes Habitat Restoration Plan (2005)

Recovery Plan for the El Segundo Blue Butterfly

Coastal Dune Community Stewardship Project (Year 1 Report)

Coastal Dune Community Stewardship Project (Year 2 Report)

Los Angeles International Airport Coastal Dunes Improvement Project Ecological Monitoring Report (2018)