Endangered Plant Surveys in the Carpinteria Salt Marsh

Endangered Plant Surveys in the Carpinteria Salt Marsh

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Throughout August CIR staff, UCSB students, and community volunteers got down in the marshes to survey for salt marsh bird's-beak (Chloropyron maritimum subsp. maritimum). The Carpintria salt marsh is one of the last of its kind in Southern California. The flat oceanfront ecosystems have been an alluring target for developers. Salt marshes provide habitat for many uniqe species and are important areas for transient birds as well. Salt marsh bird's-beak is extant in just seven coastal marshes between Morro Bay and northern Baja California.

The survey comes ahead of our project to remove invasive European sea lavender from the marsh. And understanding of where the two species' ranges overlap is required for us to properly plan to eradicate European sea lavender.

Now I'd rather not get too deep into the nitty-gritty, for that you can read our full report which will be made public soon. Here I'd rather focus on commentary.

Using a found ladder to cross the channel like it was some sort of crevasse on Everest.

Using a found ladder to cross the channel like it was some sort of crevasse on Everest.

Surveying a salt marsh is no easy task - not at all like walking through a slightly soggy meadow as I had originally imagined. Being at the edge of the coast, the marsh is linked directly to the mercy of the tides and tides pay no attention to business hours. High tide occured around noon throughout the month, so areas in the marsh that were dry in the morning were under six feet of water later in the day. Even when water wasn't present, the mud could act like quicksand and threaten to swallow our rubber boots whole. So as we entered the marshes each morning, we had to be certain of our exit route otherwise we would be swimming our way out. Towards the ending days of the surveys we wisened up and brought SUPs and kayaks to ford the rivers that came at high tide.

Despite all of our efforts, we still ended up wet and muddy most days.

After surveying the entire 230-acre marsh we found about 0.51 acres where salt marsh bird's-beak was present.

West Camino Cielo Jeep Tour

West Camino Cielo Jeep Tour

On Sunday June 4th, an adventurous group of CIR supporters and volunteers were treated to a unique tour of the Santa Ynez ridge. as it has never been done before

Central Coast Train Tour

Central Coast Train Tour

On a gorgeous Day in March, over 50 CIR volunteers and donors were treated to a unique trip in a classic dome lounge-dinning train car up the coast to San Luis Obispo and back. 

Scouting the Sisquoc

Scouting the Sisquoc

Five days riding on the backs of mules left us sore but happy, as we scouted the Sisquoc River and Manzana Creek for Tamarisk trees.

How Rain Affects Restoration

How Rain Affects Restoration

With the rain arises a new array of benefits and obstacles. Much like the harsh drought helped eliminate poorly-adapted invasive species, yet made the establishment of new natives difficult, rain offers a gradient of impacts.

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Sisquoc River Project

Sisquoc River Project

Channel Islands Restoration proposes to eradicate non-native invasive Tamarisk species in the Sisquoc River and Manzana Creek. The objective of the project is to restore and maintain habitat for riparian dependent species such as the federally listed arroyo toad, California red-legged frog and steelhead trout.

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Wanted: Dedicated Volunteers for our Party Planning Commission

Calling all volunteers!

To those that would like to get more involved with CIR and work a little "behind the scenes" - we just so happen to be looking for dedicated and creative volunteers to join our Party Planning Commission. Members of the Commission will work with staff to help us organize our biggest events of the year - the Holiday Party, the Membership Barbecue and the CIR Social. With your help, we can accommodate the growing support for CIR and we can make the upcoming parties the best we've ever had.

Members of the Party Planning Commission will meet a few months before each event to plan and discuss the upcoming event, and then work together to execute that plan - through taking on roles like reserving event space, purchasing food, soliciting for raffle items, and/or whatever each event may need.

The Party Planning Commission, though supported and directed by the CIR staff and board, will hold quite a bit of creative freedom when it comes to each event, and therefore we are looking for volunteers that are dedicated, reliable, organized, and of course, like to have a good party.

Our next event is the Spring Membership Party on April 8th at Foster Park, and we need your help to make sure it's our best party yet.

If you're willing and able, contact Tanner via admin@cirweb.org to get involved.

Sincerely,
the Board & Staff of Channel Islands Restoration
cirweb.org
(805) 448-6203
928 Carpinteria St., Santa Barbara, CA 93103

It Costs Money to Raise Money

It Costs Money to Raise Money

In the past year, support from donors has given us the capital to pursue grants for new and exciting projects and to continue work where federal funds have been eliminated. Plus, donations have helped us further our education outreach and bring underprivileged kids into nature and onto the islands, and it hasallowed us to expand our efforts to restore special and important habitat on the Central Coast. To those that have given at other times in the past year: THANK YOU, and please consider sustaining or upgrading your membership through monthly donations. Now through automatic monthly donations, there's no need for reminders or alterations in your monthly budget! However, regardless of how you donate, and regardless of how much, we sincerely appreciate your support. Without donors, we wouldn't be able to continue the mission of CIR.

East Anacapa Island Restoration

East Anacapa Island Restoration

Anacapa Island is more a chain of islets rather than one large island and because of this, it has a high ratio of coastline to interior. This expanse of ocean bluff and coastline provides critical and/or important habitat for seabirds, marine mammals, and a number of rare plants. The island boasts sixteen plant species that are found only on the Channel Islands, two of which are unique to Anacapa, and the largest breeding population of the formerly federally endangered Brown Pelicans (Pelecanus occidentalis) in California. Anacapa Island is  an important breeding location for the Scripps’s murrelet (Synthliboramphus scrippsi), one of the world’s rarest seabirds, and the ashy storm-petrel (Oceanodroma homochroa), a California Species of Special Concern.

Guest Author: Bryan Snyder, Seeding the Clouds

Guest Author: Bryan Snyder, Seeding the Clouds

By mid-afternoon on Santa Rosa Island, the winds reached gale force.  50mph gusts tore through our worksite in the cloud forest, throwing grit in our eyes faster than our tear ducts could remove it.  Still, we labored to the best of our ability, working to retrofit a series of erosion control barriers beneath the island oaks before the sun set behind San Miguel Island to the west.