CIR and Santa Barbara Zoo Awarded Grants for Wetland Restoration!



Channel Islands Restoration and the Santa Barbara Zoo have been awarded two grants to continue restoration of the Andree Clark Bird Refuge along Zoo property.  Starting in 2010, both agencies (plus the City of Santa Barbara) partnered on the first phase of the restoration project, which involved removing large stands of invasive Myoporum trees and hundreds of other invasives, and the planting of over 900 natives.  Nearly 400 volunteers helped out with the project, which restored almost an acre of refuge.  What started out as a dark and dingy invasive-choked area was transformed into an open wetland habitat thriving with native plants, birds and other animals.

The second phase of the project will restore the remaining 1.5 acres of the Zoo property along the refuge margin.  We will plant 1,200 natives and remove many more Myoporum trees and other invasives will also be removed.  About $60,000 in grant funding has been awarded to the project, half from the County of Santa Barbara's Coastal Resource Enhancement Fund, which is a partial mitigation of impacts from the Point Arguello, Point Pedernales, and Santa Ynez Unit oil projects.  The other half will come from the Southern California Wetland Recovery Project, which also funded the first phase of the project. 

The Zoo project has been very popular with CIR volunteers.  On our first volunteer day, more than 100 people showed up to help out!  One of the reasons that the project is so popular is because volunteers are offered free admission to the Zoo at the conclusion of the work day.  The Bird Refuge is also a very scenic location, and the restoration sites are located in areas that the public do not normally have a chance to visit.  Watch for announcements seeking your volunteer help in the fall!



A section of the Andree Clark Bird Refuge phase I restoration before non-native plants were removed. 
Note crooked on right for reference.

The same view after non-native plants were removed (note crooked oak tree on right for reference). 
This photo also shows native plants right after installation

The same view after native plants have matured