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US Fish & Wildlife Service FieldNotes
VENTURA FWO:  Celebrating the Carpinteria Salt Marsh Restoration Project
Region 8, March 12, 2008
Michael Feeney of the Land Trust for Santa Barbara (far left) speaks to group about the Carpinteria Salt Marsh Restoration Project.
Michael Feeney of the Land Trust for Santa Barbara (far left) speaks to group about the Carpinteria Salt Marsh Restoration Project. - Photo Credit: n/a
The Land Trust of Santa Barbara posted this sign at the restoration site.
The Land Trust of Santa Barbara posted this sign at the restoration site. - Photo Credit: n/a
Sam Schuchat, Executive Officer of the California Coastal Conservancy cuts the blue ribbon to celebrate the completed restoration project. The footbridge was the final step in the restoration project which will allow better and more controlled public access to the Carpinteria Salt Marsh.
Sam Schuchat, Executive Officer of the California Coastal Conservancy cuts the blue ribbon to celebrate the completed restoration project. The footbridge was the final step in the restoration project which will allow better and more controlled public access to the Carpinteria Salt Marsh. - Photo Credit: n/a

Mary Root, Ventura FWO

The 230-acre Carpinteria Salt Marsh is one of the few remaining coastal wetlands in California.  Once much more extensive, today the remaining habitats of the Carpinteria Salt Marsh are surrounded by the City of Carpinteria.  Over 25 years ago, the natural habitats of the marsh had been proposed for residential and marina development.  Today, it is a scenic and ecological focal point along this stretch of the Santa Barbara County coast.  In fall 2004, the Land Trust of Santa Barbara County (Land Trust) began a large-scale restoration project on its 36-acre property within the Carpinteria Salt Marsh.  The Land Trust’s Basin 1 and South Marsh restoration project builds upon many years of collaborative conservation among the University of California, Land Trust, city of Carpinteria, Santa Barbara County Flood Control District, Southern California Wetland Recovery Project, local homeowners, and other community-based groups, as well as numerous state and federal resource agencies. 

 

In 2002 and 2003, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) provided cost-share assistance to the Basin 1 and South Marsh project through grants awarded by the National Coastal Wetland Conservation Grant Program and the Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program.  In total, the Service awarded $550,000 to the $1.95 million  project, which also received funding from the California Coastal Conservancy, County of Santa Barbara, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and over $100,000 in community donations.  The project will improve native coastal habitats for numerous Service trust species including two federally endangered bird species, the light-footed clapper rail (Raluus longirostris levipes) and the California least tern (Sterna antillarum browni), and one federally endangered plant, the salt marsh bird’s beak (Cordylanthus maritimus ssp. maritimus).  The project will also provide important benefits to the State-endangered Belding’s savannah sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis beldingi) which breeds within the wetland habitats of the marsh.  In addition, numerous shorebirds and waterfowl pass through the Carpinteria Salt Marsh along the Pacific Flyway, and over 1,000 birds have been documented on a single day within the marsh.

 

On March 12, 2008, the Land Trust celebrated the grand opening of the completed restoration project at the Basin 1 and South Marsh project site.  Sam Schuchat, Executive Officer of the California Coastal Conservancy and Richard Rogers of the California Fish and Game Commission spoke briefly during the ceremony which included a ribbon cutting at a new footbridge installed over Franklin Creek.  Michael Feeney, Executive Director of the Land Trust, hosted the event and discussed the challenges of bringing the numerous landowners and stakeholders together to conserve and restore the Carpinteria Salt Marsh.  He highlighted that ultimately the diverse partnerships, though occasionally challenging to coordinate, were essential for making the Basin 1 and South Marsh project a success.  The Land Trust’s restoration efforts illustrate how diverse partners can come together and achieve important coastal habitat conservation and restoration while balancing public access, water quality, flood control with the need to improve natural habitats for native wildlife and plants. 

 

For a local NPR broadcast by KCLU on the Carpinteria Salt Marsh Celebration please visit the following link:  http://www.fws.gov/scripts/exit.cfm?link=http://www.kclu.org/player/index.php?story_id=176&linkname=KCLU Radio (NPR) .

 

For more information about the Carpinteria Salt Marsh Project contact:

 

Michael Feeney, Executive Director

Land Trust for Santa Barbara County

(805) 966-2560

www.sblandtrust.org

 

For more information about the Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program contact:

 

Mary Root, Conservation Partnerships Program

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Ventura Fish and Wildlife Office

(805) 644-1766 ext 233

Mary_Root@fws.gov

Contact Info: Scott Flaherty, , Scott_Flaherty@fws.gov