Access to CSMR is limited and controlled because of the sensitivity of the resources and the nature of the research activities and equipment that are used at the Reserve.

However, there are both formal and informal means of gaining access to the resources of Carpinteria Salt Marsh.

Formal access is obtained by applying to the UCSB Natural Reserve System for access to the Carpinteria Salt Marsh Reserve.

Informal access is available through the Sandyland Cove Homes Association, Sandyland Protective Association, and Land Trust for Santa Barbara County. Informal access to eastern portions of the estuary within the City of Carpinteria also occurs from the Ash Avenue area.