Monday, October 8, 2007

City of Ventura Community Partner

The City's annual report includes an update on progress toward "Achieving the Vision"

Our Natural Community

We've expanded "green practices" citywide to make Ventura a model for a sustainable planet.

Community Partner

Paul Jenkn"For the past decade, the Ventura County Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation has been working with local and state government agencies to solve beach erosion and water quality problems at Ventura County's most popular coastal recreation area - Surfers' Point."

Monday, October 1, 2007

Urban Runoff - Ocean Friendly Gardens

If you have visited the Surfrider "road show" at recent events you may have seen the poster below. We are beginning to map the Ventura urban watershed to illustrate the causes of urban runoff, as well as potential solutions.

Many cities around the country are now planning and implementing "green infrastructure", which integrates flood control with water supply, parks, bikeways and more. This is a necessary response to climate change, as we may experience longer droughts and greater flooding in the future. Greening our community has the added benefit of making cities more walkable and bikable, while the added green space absorbs carbon emissions.

What can you do?

The Surfrider Foundation is launching a new program called Ocean Friendly Gardens. This is intended to educate residents about the urban runoff problem and demonstrate how we can conserve water and retain and infiltrate storm water on our own property. Lot by lot, we can re-landscape our communities.

Arundo Eradication in Matilija Canyon

The first step in the Matilija Dam Ecosystem Restoration project has begun with the Arundo eradication program. Work will begin in Matilija Canyon, starting in the reservoir area above the dam, and will utilize foliar spraying of herbicide. The intent is to move to the headwaters and "get" all the Arundo in Matilija Creek before moving downstream as far as the Highway 150 bridge. Over 200 acres of this weed have been identified in the watershed.

Although just about everyone recognizes there is some negative impact of herbicide application, the long term goals are to save water, reduce flooding and fire hazards, and restore the native habitat. The eradication program will use "BMP's" (Best Management Practices) intended to minimize overspray and water contact. The Matilija Coalition and Santa Barbara ChannelKeeper played an active role in ensuring these BMP's were included in the plan.

For the remainder of the year, Stream Team water monitoring in Matilija Creek and downstream will include sampling for "glyphosate," the active ingredient in Rodeo, a version of Roundup herbicide approved for use near water. We hope our samples come up negative, but if herbicide is detected in the river the operations will be modified and carefully monitored.

For more information on the eradication plan and water quality monitoring see http://matilijadam.org/reports.htm
For the Matilija Coalition 2001 Field Survey see http://pages.sbcglobal.net/pjenkin/matilija/arundo.htm

Cooincidentally, "High Country News" has an article about weed control that is relevant to the situation in the Ventura River - http://www.hcn.org/servlets/hcn.Article?article_id=17192