- development of baseline environmental conditions and identification of data gaps
- hydrologic analysis
- biological surveys including vegetation and wildlife communities
- identification of restoration opportunities and constraints
- attendance at public meetings and events to conduct outreach
- development of conceptual restoration and public access options
- identification of permitting and environmental review requirements
- completion of engineering design and specifications
Proposition 1 Riparian Restoration Project at Santa Paula
Department of Conservation – Land Trust Capacity and Project Development Grant
Santa Clara River Trustees Council – River Education for Elementary School Children
In August 2019, SCRC was awarded a second round of funding from the Trustees Council to provide education programs and field trips to third and fourth grade students in Ventura County. SCRC has partnered with US Fish and Wildlife Service to deliver these programs. Currently, SCRC has been working with students from Mountain Vista Elementary, Rio Real Elementary, Isbell Middle School, Rio Vista Elementary, the Earth Keepers group, and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Santa Paula. Students receive an in-class presentation to provide an introduction to the Santa Clara River. Later, students visit a major tributary of the Santa Clara River to participate in hands-on activities led by biologists who study subjects in the river.
Proposition 1 – Arundo Removal at the Sespe Cienega
Working with University of California, Santa Barbara, this project will remove 175 acres of giant reed (Arundo donax) from an extremely important portion of the Santa Clara River in Fillmore, initiating the restoration of a native ecosystem at the site of a critical historic wetland. The primary objective of this project is to protect and enhance native riparian woodlands and associated wildlife through restoration efforts. This area of mature cottonwood-willow forest is part of a larger property owned by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, for long-term protection and enhancement of regionally-threatened habitat and wildlife species, including multiple listed and candidate species. The woodland has been severely degraded by dense infestation of giant reed, and faces risk of catastrophic loss from giant reed-fueled wildfire that could eliminate fire-intolerant native forest species, as well as be carried into adjacent agricultural lands and coastal sage scrub.
Giant reed removal is the first phase of implementation that will re-create a fully functioning riparian ecosystem necessary for native species, while decreasing the risk from detrimental fires. Removal will also allow native vegetation to recover and sequester excessive nutrients discharged from the neighboring Fillmore Fish Hatchery and nearby agricultural areas, thereby improving water quality before it enters the main channel of the Santa Clara River. Increased water availability for sensitive terrestrial and aquatic species is expected, as research indicates giant reed uses approximately 3-4 times more water than native species. These changes will be long lasting and will contribute to resilience of the ecosystem along the Santa Clara River in the face of potential climate change and natural disturbances.
Proposition 84 – Arundo Removal with California Trout
SCRC has partnered with California Trout to remove 41 acres of giant reed (Arundo donax) from riparian areas adjacent to the Santa Clara River on Hedrick Ranch Nature Area (HRNA) and Hedrick Ranch Property (HRP), adjacent to Santa Paula, CA. Starting in 2017, this project has included volunteers, the California Conservation Corps, numerous contractors, and in-house staff to perform initial giant reed removal and follow up treatments and vegetation monitoring to evaluate success metrics and inform adaptive management.
SCRC has been contracted by Friends of the Santa Clara River to restore 7 – 8 acres of riparian habitat outside of the entrance of the Fillmore Fish Hatchery, which is owned by California Department of Fish and Wildlife. Project elements include: controlling non-native plants, revegetation with native riparian plants, community engagement, creating an interpretive trail, and biological monitoring. SCRC has worked with students from Briggs School in Santa Paula, Girl Scout Troop 60532, and has hosted several volunteer events.
Volunteers working together to install plants in the project area (Photo by Sergio Flores).
The interpretive garden is open to the public. California native plants line the trail and give visitors a chance to observe their beauty up-close. Brochures are available at the kiosk, both in English and Spanish, so that visitors can learn about the native plants as they stroll through the garden.
Girls Scouts from Troop 60532 constructed a kiosk for the interpretive garden (Photo by Olivia Long).
Photos from a volunteer event. Volunteers finished installing native plants and weeded the garden.