June Meeting: River Wetlands Restoration in Ventura County

Photo: Before: Santa Clara River Wetlands restorers at work 2009

 The Ventura and Santa Clara River area is a remarkable resource,  river ecosystems containing  some of the remaining mere 3% of Southern California’s historic woodlands not already lost to farms and urban development. The Santa Clara River provides drinking water for cities along its banks from Ventura to Acton. It provides water for diversion into Oxnard Plain aquifers that keeps the aquifers from severe overdraft and provides water for agriculture. It is the only major river system in Southern California to avoid channelization and loss of natural function.   However, both rivers have been inundated with non-native plants (Arundo, Thistle,  Mustard,  Ice Plant and Castor) which have made the environment not welcoming to native birds and animals.

Sunday, June 1, 2014
3:00 to 5:00 p.m.
Topping Room, E.P. Foster Library

Come and learn about the numerous projects that are working to restore the native habitat.

Photo:   After, 2011

Presenters:

Sandy Hedrick, the first individual in Southern California to get both California State and Federal grants for wetlands restoration.  His family has farmed in Ventura County since 1946.
Ron Bottorff, current chairman and founder of Friends of the Santa Clara River.  He participated for 13 years on the Santa Clara River Enhancement and Management Plan.
Tom Dudley,  principal investigator at UC Santa Barbara’s Marine Science Institute Riparian Invasive Research Laboratory.
Adam Lambert, Research Biologist, Marine Science institute Restoration Affiliate, Cheadle Center for Biodiversity and Ecological Restoration.
Lee Sherman, development and volunteer coordinator for Ventura Hillsides Conservancy.
In 2001 the State Coastal Conservancy, under its Santa Clara River Parkway Project, acquired 225 acres of Santa Clara River channel and floodplain lands which had been part of the Valley View Ranch upstream of Santa Paula. This area was placed under the stewardship of Friends of the Santa Clara River and is known as the Hedrick Ranch Nature Area.  Friends have since restored 80 acres to native habitats, utilizing grants from the state and the Santa Clara River Trustee Council along with a strong volunteer program led by the Ventura Audubon Society.  Restoration is now underway on several adjoining properties and is being managed by UC Santa Barbara’s Applied Science Restoration Team.  This project, in which Friends is a partner, will soon be expanded significantly using grant funding from the Prop 84 water bond.

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