Refugio Creek Arundo
Starting the in the fall of 2006, Channel Islands Restoration
began removing Arundo donax from the bottom portion of
Refugio Creek west of the City of Goleta in Santa Barbara County.
CIR is working in cooperation with the following agencies on this
restoration project: The Land Trust of Santa Barbara County, the
Cachuma Resource Conservation District and the Santa Barbara County
Flood Control District.
The project involves:
Removing at least 100 separate patches, on 4 acres, of
Arundo donax, as well as several smaller areas of other
invasive plant species detrimental to the wildlife ecology of
Stabilizing the creek bank on over one mile of Refugio Creek to
reduce the chances of large-scale bank failure, future sediment
deposition into the creek, and bank-cutting that undermines
riparian vegetation and habitat values and threatens
high-quality orchard land.
Re-establishing native riparian habitat on 17,000 square feet
along the creek corridor by planting more than 3000 trees, shrubs and
herbaceous annuals. These plantings will stabilize the creek
banks, create shade to cool and conserve water in the creek, and
provide better habitat for a wide array of local wildlife.
Conducting three years of post-installation monitoring,
re-treatment and replacement planting to ensure a successful
Demonstrating a model for collaboration among private
agricultural landowners, government agencies and
non-governmental organizations to address watershed enhancement
on the Gaviota Coast.
The Refugio Creek watershed is
located twelve miles west of the City of Goleta. At 5,200 acres, it is one of
the largest watersheds on the Gaviota Coast. The Creek supports a
diverse riparian woodland with sycamore, cottonwood, willow, oak,
bay laurel and an understory of mixed natives and invasive weeds. It also
supports one of the South Coast’s largest Arundo donax infestations, along 1.75
miles of the creek channel, crossing three private ranches.
US Fish and Wildlife Service Partners for Wildlife Grant
Matching funds from Landowners
SB County Flood Control District
|All photographs by Duke
McPherson and Ken Owen of Channel Islands Restoration.
Use with permission only