Friday, March 13, 2020

Lower Ventura River - a decade of cleanup

Almost a decade after the initial cleanup in the lower Ventura River, nonprofits and volunteers continue to take on the endless role as "Trash man" to those who leave their waste in the river bottom.

This video illustrates the dirty job undertaken by Dan Hulst, Preserve Director with the Ventura Land Trust.  It is still a full time job...

The Lower Ventura River from Jason Hernandez on Vimeo.

Looking back to 2011, Santa Barbara Channelkeeper, seeking to bring attention to a growing problem,  performed surveys of the area and estimated over 200 people living in the river bottom with no trash or sanitary facilities.  The sheer volume of toxic and human waste poised to flush into the ocean was overwhelming.

In 2012, the Ventura Hillsides Conservancy, now Ventura Land Trust, acquired the property downstream of the Main Street bridge.  Working through a process set up through a Trash TMDL, local authorities served eviction notices to the camps, and the Conservancy was able to come in and clean up the mess.

Eviction Day (2012) from Matt Linkin on Vimeo.

Ventura Land Trust continues to monitor and maintain the area, working with law enforcement and organizing volunteer workdays to clean up the never-ending mess.  A long term solution has yet to be developed, but social service agencies and nonprofits continue to make progress on improving access to shelters and transitional housing for those who desire.

For more information and to volunteer, contact:

Dan Hulst, Preserve Director, Ventura Land Trust:

Ben Pitterle, Santa Barbara Channelkeeper:

On this blog:

Stream Team Trash Survey
Salmon Run focuses on trash issue

VHC River Cleanup
More River Cleanups

Ventura River Cleanup short film