Monday, December 10, 2012

Surfers' Point workdays

Saturday December 8, 2012

Over 70 volunteers plus a dozen organizers spent the morning working on the dune area at Surfers' Point.  The large crew made quick work of cleaning, seeding, and planting the 4 acre area.  The workday was coordinated by the City of Ventura in partnership with the Ventura County Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation, and attracted Surfrider members and families from the community.  

The City of Ventura has been preparing the area for several months.  In April, sand was delivered to the project area from Pierpont Beach where the large accumulation was inundating beachfront homes.  (see Surfers Point - sand dunes)
A dune restoration plan was prepared by a consultant team to coordinate the multiple stakeholder interests and ensure ecological goals are met.  Sand that was initially delivered in longitudinal rows was re-graded with machinery over the past few weeks to form more natural 'hummock' dunes, create a buffer zone along the bike path, and provide designated 'recreation areas.'  

Because some of the imported sand contained unnatural concrete and other debris, the first crew of volunteers went to work cleaning the dunes with rakes and special mechanical 'sifters.'  It's amazing how much area a large crew can cover in an hour or two!

 As volunteers completed the debris removal, they were given tools to weed areas where non-native plants were beginning to sprout from the recent rains.  Catching these sprouts early will make a big difference later in the spring when we return to remove weeds.

While the cleanup and weeding was happening, another work group was systematically distributing native plant seeds under the direction of restoration consultant Dave Hubbard.  The seed was custom mixed for different areas of the project, mixed with some dry sand and scattered evenly within a designated area.  The area was then raked to further distribute and bury the seeds.  These seeds will be futher stabilized this week through the application of straw which will be 'crimped' into the dunes by a contractor.

Surf Brewery's Bill Riegler applies seed 
to the Surfers' Point dune restoration area.

Finally, hundreds of plants arrived from our local Surfrider Ocean Friendly Gardens 'plant parents' who have been caring for them since seeds were collected from the site last year (Surfers' Point workday.)    Volunteers spent another couple of hours planting these along the bike path and filling in areas in the bioswale.

picks were needed to break up the hard soil for planting in the bioswale

On Friday Patagonia volunteers will install barrier fencing and signs to help direct traffic through the dunes to allow for plants to establish and stabilize the new sand dunes.

Thanks to VolunteerVentura, the Ventura County Fairgrounds, and our sponsors!  The Surfrider Foundation purchased seed and refreshments for this restoration project with support from the Surf Brewery, Amgen, and Patagonia.  Please help support the Surf Brewery by asking for their local brews at your favorite eatery or visiting the tasting room on Market St in Ventura:

In the news: 

Volunteers to restore Surfers Point dunes this weekend in Ventura - VCStar

Unique Project To Deal With Erosion At Popular South Coast Beach At Halfway Point - KCLU

Our Ventura TV program included interviews at the workday event

Handcrafted sand dunes require community efforts to reach their full potential
Outdoor Observer -  VC Star