We pride ourselves in solid science as we work with our partners to move the conservation needle forward for the benefit of the fish, wildlife, plants, habitats, and people of the central and southern California coast. This year, we have many successes to celebrate.
For the first time in nearly 70 years, we saw western snowy plovers nesting on beaches in Los Angeles County, a testament to the perseverance of land managers who work to educate beachgoers and implement on-the-ground restoration.
Along with our state partners, we rescued a population of rare fish from near certain extinction from the damaging effects of wildfire. We then released them back into the wild where they have since been documented successfully breeding.
We worked alongside volunteers within our community to document bird and marine mammal mortalities along our coastline, which provided critical data during a domoic acid event and continues to help us understand the long-term impacts of the Refugio oil spill.
With our partners at the University of California, we broke ground on a restoration project to convert a former golf course into a productive wetland, which will not only provide habitat for wildlife, but will provide a place for visitors to enjoy and explore nature.
We worked diligently and collaboratively with a private landowner to develop and implement vigorous conservation measures for a plant species once thought to be extinct and currently a candidate for listing under the ESA.
And, we approved the first Conservation Bank bordering San Benito and Santa Clara counties, which will permanently protect more than 2,000 acres of habitat for two rare amphibian species while a family’s ranching legacy lives on.
At the end of a robust year of conservation, we can be proud that our passion and perseverance made a difference for the living things that call this beautiful stretch of coastline home. It is because of the tenacity, grace, and enthusiasm of our team, that I am so proud to work for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Stephen P. Henry
Field Supervisor, Ventura Fish and Wildlife Office