Thursday, July 1, 2010

Sediment Management and Restoration Opportunities

Last week the Matilija Coalition received a letter from Ventura County in response to our February 16, 2010 position statement that outlined concerns with the proposal to attempt to permanently store the fine sediments from Matilija reservoir within the floodplain upstream of the dam. The County's response was also directed towards a long letter from the Environmental Defense Center that provided a detailed analysis of potential increased impacts and the need for additional environmental review – including, for example, that the Upstream Storage Area proposal would create several permanent threats and impacts that were not previously evaluated.

The County's letter emphasizes the need for consensus, and describes a process to renew the dialog with Matilija project stakeholders. The letter concludes with "As always, I look forward to receiving any ideas you may have on alternatives to consider as we kick off our facilitation effort."

In our response, we reiterate our commitment to ecosystem restoration, and offer a 4-page document titled "Sediment Management and Restoration Opportunities for the Matilija Dam Ecosystem Restoration Project" We believe there are ways to resolve the sediment management problem that are compatible with the goals of ecosystem restoration.

All of these letters and our other comments on the project are on the web at

A recent history of Matilija Dam is on the Ventura River blog: