Dear Friend of the Santa Clara River,
Its been awhile since we have communicated with many of you. So here is an update on what Friends has been up to as we work through the 25th year since our founding in 1993.
I retired as chairman in January, 2018. Ventura resident and long-time river activist Jim Danza has taken over. I will remain on the board of directors and will assist Jim through the transition period. Jim, a geography professor at Oxnard College, not only brings a wealth of environmental knowledge to the organization, but is well acquainted with river issues, having worked many years with Friends of the Los Angeles River. He is bringing along several of his students to assist him in an intern capacity, which will help immensely.
We have totally revised and updated our website. Check it out at www.fscr.org.
Here is a brief look at a few of the projects we are currently pursuing:
- Litigation against the first two Newhall Ranch villages continues. Although several fellow litigants settled last September under a consent decree with Newhall, Friends and SCOPE have continued in opposition. This involves cases in both state and federal courts.
- We just completed a feasibility study under a state grant for removal of a concrete fish passage barrier that blocks 8 miles of steelhead spawning habitat on Sisar Creek (tributary to Santa Paula Creek). We expect to receive a follow-on grant for design of a 90-foot span steel bridge to replace the Arizona Crossing.
- Under a Wetlands Recovery Project grant, we are planting native vegetation on 10 acres of fallow land at the Fillmore Fish Hatchery. Included in this project is a Chumash ethno-botany garden, which will feature native plants used by the Chumash. Work is being carried out by Fillmore High School students under the direction of UCSB’s Rivr Lab.
- Work continues under several state grants to finish planting native vegetation at the 220-acre Hedrick Ranch Nature Area near Santa Paula. Our group has acted as stewards of the property since 2001 and has already completed restoration on 50 acres. Restoration on several hundred acres of adjacent property will also begin soon. This area is now the largest green patch on the lower river.
- We have been working steadily in support of a new group, the Santa Clara River Watershed Conservancy, which has as its mission the eventual management and restoration of extensive acreages of both river corridor and upland areas. The Conservancy is currently expanding its board of directors and hiring staff.
We will be having a 25th anniversary event September 17, so hold the date! More to come on that later.
Oh, I almost forgot: our new website has a DONATE button. Please give it a try if you feel so inclined. Your donation is needed and appreciated.
Thanks so much to all of those who have supported us over the years!!