Channel Islands Restoration has experienced unprecedented growth in 2017. Due to the energy of our volunteers and staff and the generosity of our donors, we have worked on 25 projects in 2017 so far. We have removed an uncountable number of invasive weeds, propagated tens of thousands of plants and we restored habitat from the Channel Islands to the San Rafael Wilderness and everywhere in between. More than 800 volunteers and around 200 financial donors have made this possible.
Here are some highlights of our accomplishments in 2017:
- We have grown over 16,000 native plants on San Nicolas Island that will be installed starting in February with teams of volunteers, mitigating a construction project and providing habitat for threatened animals.
- CIR removed over 300 mature invasive tamarisk trees and at least 10,000 seedlings on a 40 mile stretch of the Sisquoc River deep in the San Rafael Wilderness of the Los Padres National Forest. Since this is a wilderness area, no cars or helicopters could be used to do our work on the project. The teams of volunteers and staff needed to walk the length of the river and could not use mechanized equipment to remove the plants. This is truly a wondrously beautiful and relatively untouched wildland, and CIR is working extra hard to keep it that way.
- We worked with volunteers, staff and university interns to survey the entire Carpinteria Salt Marsh for saltmarsh bird’s-beak (Chloropyron maritimum ssp. maritimum) a plant that is on the federal endangered species list. Through careful planning and systematic survey work, we were able to find the plant growing in parts of the marsh where it had not previously been mapped. We are hoping to take on the daunting project of removing some highly invasive plants next year that have spread in the marsh and are threatening the birds-beak population.
- CIR is committed to educating young people and adults about the value or native habitat and our precious natural areas. We worked with high school kids on Anacapa Island and on two projects in Santa Barbara. Over 160 people attended our educational events this year, including a trip to Death Valley, an evening with Tanya Atwater, the Central Coast train trip, and the jeep tour of Refugio Road and West Camino Cielo.
CIR follows a unique model to accomplish our restoration and educational missions. We use a combination of highly professional staff, plus motivated and talented volunteers to protect and restore habitat, and generate excitement in adults and young people about preserving our natural areas. In the coming year, we plan to expand our work to new areas and to reach out to more schools from under-served communities. We hope that you will join us in this grand adventure to protect our planet and raise awareness. This work simply would not happen without the help of volunteers and financial donors like you.
So from all of us at CIR, thank you.