News and Events
- NEWSVentura councilman named to Coastal CommissionBrian Brennan, a Ventura city councilman since 1997 and a founding member of the local chapter of the Surfrider Foundation, has been appointed to the California Coastal CommissionOjai Moves to Ban Plastic Bags, Supports Local Control of Water...the (Ojai Green Coalition) had expected the state Legislature to pass a ban on plastic bags, but after that effort failed, it has fallen to cities to craft their own bans. Ojai would be the first city in Ventura County to ban them.The council also unanimously voted to support efforts by a group of residents trying to gather signatures to petition the Casitas Municipal Water District to consider taking over the portion of the Ojai water-service market now handled by Golden State Water Co. Among other things, the residents are upset over large Golden State water rate increases.Watershed Education Funding Cut
Once Upon a Watershed provides hands-on watershed education, restoration, and stewardship experience to 4th, 5th and 6th grade students in the Ventura River Watershed. Last month they were informed that their 3-year federal grant has been withdrawn after the first year - a victim of the federal budget cuts.
Erin Marnocha, project director, explained that Once Upon A Watershed is a program run through the auspices of Oak Grove school to educate students about the watersheds in Ventura County. "We want to increase awareness around the watershed and get the kids and communities as partners."
For more information or to help support this important program, please see http://onceuponawatershed.org/Agreement reached between environmental group and Limoneira Co.One of the greatest threats to water quality and quantity and our coastal ecosystem is unsustainable urban development. Although Ventura County has some of the most progressive land use guidelines in southern California, constant vigilance is required on the part of the citizens to ensure such guidelines are followed.Beach Fill Gone BadWhile the Surfers' Point Managed Retreat Project continues to make progress, things are not looking good at Goleta Beach in Santa Barbara County. Here 'beach nourishment' has been seen as a way to widen the beach in response to coastal erosion. Unfortunately, materials dredged from the slough turned out to be pretty ugly once dumped on the beach.Same problem in Texas: http://robnixon.blogspot.com/search/label/Beach%20Fill%20FailBut I guess this is not as bad as unexploded munitions accidentally pumped ashore in 2006 during a beach replenishment project in New Jersey! More than 1,100 munitions have been found since that beach replenishment project was completed. The cleanup is estimated at 17 million taxpayer dollars!These projects are examples of why Surfrider Foundation is opposed to artificial beach fill.On Tuesday April 26, the Ventura County board of Supervisors approved the environmental document for the San Antonio Creek Spreading Grounds project. Although the project has broad support from the water agencies, the resource agencies (NOAA and DFG) have filed letters on the project. NOAA filed a protest to the State Water Board. At issue is whether appropriation of surface water will affect endangered steelhead and it's habitat.EVENTSVentura Hillside Conservancy 8th Annual Community Meeting
Friday, April 29, 2011 - 6 PM to 7:30 PM
Patagonia headquarters Grand Conference Room
Guest speaker Paul Jenkin, Environmental Director of the Ventura County Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation and founder of the Matilija Coalition, will present Toward Ecosystem-based Management - A Case Study of the Ventura River.
The meeting will also include a screening of Trout on the Wind, a film that documents the removal of the Columbia River’s Hemlock Dam. The 10 minute short video documents the removal of the dam located within the Gifford Pinchot National Forest, Trout Creek is a tributary of the Wind River which runs into the Columbia River Gorge. The film won the coveted John Muir 2010 Film Award in Environmental Film Competition.
Further information: www.venturahillsides.org.Ojai Valley Green Coalition - Watershed CouncilMay 3, 6-7:30 p.m.Food, Fun, Facts -- that's the agenda for the Ojai Valley Green Coalition's new Watershed Council Roll-out Party. Basically eat, drink, be merry and share an overview of the Coalition's new project-based structure and how watershed and water issues and you fit in.Watershed Council Roll-Out party on May 3, 6-7:30 p.m. at Kathy Nolan's home located at 340 Avenida De La Vereda, Ojai 93023.HEADWATERS TO OCEAN CONFERENCE
24-26 May, 2011 - Catamaran Resort Hotel and Spa on Mission Bay in San Diego, California.
The 2011 "Headwaters to Ocean (H2O)" Conference will cover a wide spectrum of coast and ocean issues. Of local relevance will be a session on Managed Shoreline Retreat including presentations from Surfrider, City of Ventura, and the engineers responsible for the implementation of the Surfers' Point Managed Shoreline Retreat Project. Paul Jenkin, Ventura Campaign Coordinator for the Surfrider Foundation, will also present Toward Ecosystem-based Management - A Case Study of the Ventura River.
Early registration ends on May 3. The conference program is available online at: www.coastalconference.org/h20_2011/2011_program1.php.
- Ventura hires general manager to oversee new water department
She and another finalist were interviewed by a panel of city officials, environmentalists and business leaders, including representatives of the Ventura Chamber of Commerce and the Surfrider Foundation, according to the city.Letter to the editor:While it is misleading to suggest that Surfrider Foundation formally endorsed Ms. Epstein, we are reserving judgment until we see if she can succeed in integrating our water supply, stormwater and wastewater management. ... [Otherwise]...Ventura Promenade RepairsRepairs are in progress on the Ventura Promenade. The seawall and stairs have taken a beating, and much of the rebar internal to the concrete structure is in a state of decay. Surfrider commented on this project in 2001 when environmental documents were first circulated. One of our concerns was the plan to introduce additional rip-rap (boulders) along the bottom of the seawall. This is now happening...http://www.venturariver.org/2011/05/ventura-promenade-repairs.htmlVentura County Fire Department hires herd of goats to clear brushEVENTS:Oil Piers Project Update -BEACON will hear a presentation from United States Army of Corps of Engineers (USACOE) on the planned artificial reef at Oil Piers Beach along the Rincon.BEACON meeting Friday, May 20, at 9:00 a.m.Carpinteria City Hall, 5775 Carpinteria AvenueMeeting agenda, along with staff reports, are available at www.beacon.ca.gov.May 21, Saturday: Rehydrating a Thirsty Land Workshop
9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Includes bring your own lunch picnic. Cost $25 paid OVGC members/$30 non-members. Registration required, final details will be sent upon receipt of information and payment.
Limited to 20 participants.Led by David White and Connor Jones, this workshop will take a close look at how the landscape hydrates itself and how we can assist in that process. Participants will learn the importance of working with the contour of the landscape, excavating swales, mulching, restructuring creeks and waterways to reduce erosion and slow, sink, and spread water into the landscape. You will also learn about trees and their purpose in creating rain, moderating the water table, and preventing flash floods.
May 21, Saturday: Riparian Habitat Restoration Tour and Volunteer WorkDay
9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Join members of the Ojai Valley Green Coalition in Libbey Park on Saturday, May 21 for a Creek Restoration Workday. We'll start with a tour of work already done and why and then move on to mulching and planting trees. The day will begin at 9:30 a.m. and go to 1 p.m. Volunteers will meet up the stairs from the Libbey Park lower tennis courts and we recommend parking in the lower parking lot on Montgomery Street. Wear sturdy work shoes, a long-sleeved shirt and long pants. Volunteers are also encouraged to bring gloves and a shovel or pitch fork. Snacks and water will be available. This phase of creek restoration work is funded by a U.S. Fish & Wildlife grant.May 24 - Water: Changing Habits, Changing Policy with Ron Merckling, Kathy Nolan and Bill O'BrienFor more information call (805) 669-8445 or go to http://www.ojaivalleygreencoalition.org/water_matters_month_events.shtml
- “They don’t believe green infrastructure can really solve problems, they think of it as something dreamed up by hippies,”- A Natural Resources Defense Council attorney, Ann Alexander, referring to Chicago and its frugal spending on environmentally friendly drainage—$325,000—compared to Cleveland's $42 million.Last week city councilman Brian Brennan and Surfrider Foundation's Paul Jenkin accepted the "Friend of the Coast" award on behalf of the Surfers Point Working Group. The California Coastal Coalition gives the award at their annual 'Headwaters to the Ocean' Conference. The Conference was held May 24-26, 2011 at the Catamaran Resort Hotel and Spa on Mission Bay in San Diego, California. The conference included a panel on 'Managed Shoreline Retreat', and Paul also presented Towards Ecosystem-based Management, describing the efforts to protect and restore the Ventura River watershed to benefit our coastal resources.BEACON is the lead agency on a proposal to construct an artificial surfing reef at Oil Piers. This is idea that originated when the piers were removed, causing loss of the surf break. BEACON staff are currently working with the USACOE and ASR Ltd Team to deliver a new project design. Depending on federal funding, the goal is to have the project constructed in 2012.Ventura County in line to win $17.5 million for water projectsVentura County stands to get $17.5 million in bond funds to boost water supply, prevent flooding and improve the habitat for wildlife under newly released recommendations. Under the 'Integrated Regional Water Management Plan' grant funding tOjai residents are pushing to switch water supplierhttp://www.vcstar.com/news/2011/may/29/ojai-residents-are-pushing-to-switch-water/
UC Hansen Trust selling Ventura propertyIn 2008, the Ventura City Council approved a proposal to transform it into six acres of public parks, 131 detached homes, 31 condominiums, open spaces and 20 to 24 units of farmworker rental housing. The property was in the city's sphere of influence and targeted for housing. It was annexed by the city in 2009.http://www.vcstar.com/news/2011/may/26/uc-hansen-trust-selling-ventura-property/
Malibu Lagoon Restoration Project & SurfingSince the late 1990s, a plan has been underway to restore the wetlands in the Malibu Lagoon. The Surfrider Foundation and our West LA / Malibu Chapter has been involved and supportive of this project since the beginning. In recent months controversy over the project has erupted with concerns about the approach being taken to restore the wetlands and also potential impacts the restoration project may have on surfing at Malibu's famed Surfrider beach. On May 20th, a San Francisco Superior Court judge issued a stay on the project through October 1st, which essentially delays the project for one year because the work can only be done during the summer months to minimize impacts to sensitive species.Lessons on Floodplain Management:
A New Flood, Some Old Truths: The thousands of people forced to abandon their homes in recent weeks to floodwaters are victims not just of nature but of human error as well. Years of mismanagement of the vast Mississippi River ecosystem — the relentless and often inadvisable construction of levees and navigation channels, the paving over of wetlands, the commercial development of flood plains — have made the damage worse than it might otherwise have been.EVENTS:The SBCK Ventura Stream Team will be monitoring the Ventura River during morning (pre-dawn) and afternoon shifts again this month. Monitoring according to the diurnal cycle (photosynthesis and oxygen) allows us to record dissolved oxygen measurements when they are at their minimum (pre-dawn) and near their maximum (early afternoon); and provides better data for evaluating the impact of algae and the overall health of the river. Volunteers who would like to partcipate this Saturday must RSVP to Ben Pitterle at the contact/address below.Predawn group will meet at 4:20 AM at 239 West Main St., Ventura, next to the Bike Depot. After sampling, breakfast will be provided to volunteer for this time slot.Afternoon group will meet at 12:30 PM at the same location, (though please do not park in the Bike Depot parking lot). Pizza will be provided after sampling for the PM shift.Please call Ben if you have any questions. Thanks and hope to see you this weekend!Ben PitterleWatershed Programs DirectorSanta Barbara ChannelkeeperOffice: 805-563-3377 x3Cell: 805-636-6189