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Environmental & Resource Protection
Paleontological Resource Protection


What is a paleontological resource?
Fossils or organic remains, traces, or imprints of an organism preserved in the earth's crust since some time in the geologic past, such as shells, bones, diatomite beds, and associated rock and soil matrices.

When are paleontological assessments required?
A Paleontological Survey is required for the development activities located in areas of known paleontological resources as shown on the Paleontological Resource Protection when the project will result in ground disturbance, and for all shoreline protection and access projects.

A Paleontological Report is required if the Environmental Coordinator determines on the basis of the paleontological survey that further information is required to ensure protection of paleontological resources.

Where environmental review of a development project is also required by the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), a paleontological survey or report shall be incorporated into the environmental review procedures established.

How can I find out if there are potentially paleontological resources on my property?
The University of California Museum of Paleontology has a link that can be found here.

Also the County of Santa Cruz GIS Mapping Application’s "GeoPaleo" layer shows potential resources areas in the County.

Who is qualified to evaluate the paleontological resource on my property?
Paleontologists are qualified to evaluate paleontological resources. Here is a list of of paleontologists.