By the numbers:

  • CIR has over 15 years of experience conducting habitat restoration projects and erosion control projects on the Channel Islands and the coastal areas of Southern California.
  • CIR has worked on 28 projects on the Channel Islands.
  • 63 projects on the coastal areas of Southern California mainland.
  • Our clients include 4 federal agencies, 6 state agencies, 9 local or tribal agencies and 15 private entities.
  • We have worked with more than 10,000 volunteers, 3,200 of which were students from underprivleged schools.

Our Project Sites

This page is still very much a work in progress. We've worked at a lot of sites throughout the years and it'll take a while for us to write them all up.

Hammond's Meadow Preserve

CIR is working with many project partners to restore the native coastal habitat of the Hammond's Meadow Preserve, once the locations of the Chumash village Shalawa. Visit the Hammond's Meadow Project web page for more info.

Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians Reservation Restoration

CIR is working under contract with the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians to eradicate multiple large stands of Arundo donax in a tributary of the Santa Ynez River. This work is taking place on the Chumash reservation in the Santa Ynez Valley. CIR worked closely with Chumash fire crews to cut and remove the Arundo while preserving the native flora in this sensitive and unique natural area. Chumash and CIR environmental staff continue to monitor the Arundo eradication.

We do not have a photo of this, so instead please enjoy a photo of a puna grassland in its native Chilean habitat. Note the differences between our ecosystem and this one. Photo taken by Roman Bonnefoy. Used with Creative Commons Liscense

Santa Ynez Valley Puna Grass Eradication

CIR worked in partnership with the Santa Barbara County Agricultural Commissioner's office to eradicate an infestation of punagrass (Acnatherum brachychaetum) located on a horse ranch on Happy Canyon Road in Santa Ynez. Puna grass is an "A" rated noxious weed and is a tough, spikey bunchgrass that interferes with harvest machinery, and horses and cattle find unpalatable.

Refugio Creek Arundo Removal Project

From 2006 to 2009, CIR worked to remove Arundo donax from Refugio Creek above the campsite and beach. CIR worked in cooperation with The Land Trust of Santa Barbara County, the Cachuma Resource Conservation District, and the Santa Barbara County Flood Control District.
The project involved:

  • 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 Refugio Creek.
  • 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 stabilized the creek banks, created shade to cool and conserve water in the creek, and provide excellent habitat for a wide array of local wildlife.
  • Conducting three years of post-installation monitoring, re-treatment and replacement planting to ensure a successful outcome.
  • Demonstrating a model for collaboration among private agricultural landowners, government agencies and non-governmental organizations to address watershed enhancement on the Gaviota Coast.

Kevin Thompson sprays weed-killer onto the artichoke thistle.

Gaviota Coast Artichoke Thistle Removal

CIR is worked with the County of Santa Barbara Agricultural Commissioner's office to eradicate artichoke thistle (Cynara cardunculus) on the Gaviota Coast. Artichoke thistle is a difficult to remove invasive weed that is very destructive to native habitat.

Arroyo Hondo Preserve Invasive Tree and Invasive Plant Removal

CIR has performed extensive invasive plant removal projects for the Land Trust of Santa Barbara County on the Arroyo Hondo Preserve on the Gaviota Coast. Our work at the reserve takes place in close proximity to several listed/threatened/endangered species including southern steelhead trout, red-legged frogs and tidewater goby. CIR is trusted to perform careful and professional work in highly sensitive habitats at Arroyo Hondo. For more than 10 years CIR has worked at the reserve to removing invasive trees, periwinkle (Vinca major) and onion weed (Asphodelus fistulosus).

Andree Clark Bird Refuge & SB Zoo Invasive Plant Eradication and Re-vegetation

CIR worked with the Santa Barbara Zoo and the City of Santa Barbara to restore a section of the Andree Clark Bird Refuge on zoo property. Operating under funding from the Southern California Wetlands Recovery Project, CIR removed over 100 invasive Myoporum trees, plus cape ivy (Delairea odorata) and many other invasive species. We also planted several hundred native species at the restoration site with the help of over 250 volunteers!

Arroyo Burro

Working under contract for the County of Santa Barbara Agricultural Commissioner's Office, CIR has treated many stands of Arundo donax in Hidden Valley Park & other extensive areas along the Arroyo Burro Creek in Santa Barbara.

Carpinteria Creek

Working with the County of Santa Barbara, Channel Islands restoration supervised the removal of giant reed (Arundo donax) from a two-mile stretch of Carpinteria Creek. During the length of the project, CIR removed 42 tons of Arundo from the creek.

Carpinteria Creek offers great potential for steelhead trout recovery. Unlike many other South Coast streams, its channel still runs freely through natural channels (rather than through concrete culverts). The upper reaches of the creek contain great fish habitat, and water flows year round through the urban reach of the creek. Along much of the creek, there is a tall native tree canopy that maintains the cool water that steelhead require. Because of these features, Carpinteria Creek may offer the best opportunity among all the urban streams in southern Santa Barbara County for restoring significant steelhead runs in the next few years.

This creek and others like it are threatened from non-native, invasive plants like Arundo donax. Arundo is an extremely fast-growing plant resembling bamboo. It can grow four inches a day, and up to 30 feet tall. It prefers moist conditions, and usually grows along streams and ditches. Today Arundo is aggressively invading our streams. It spreads quickly, even into thickly vegetated areas, and crowds out native plants.

Arundo affects riparian systems by growing aggressively into monocultural stands, displacing entirely the native riparian vegetation. Arundo chokes stream channels and creates debris dams that cause increased bank erosion and clogging of road culverts, impeding fish travel during storm flows. The high, straight stalks of Arundo provide little shade to the creek environment, while consuming large amounts of water compared to native plant species. Arundo has little or no value as food for local wildlife, or as nesting/roosting sites.

Coal Oil Point Reserve

CIR has a longstanding association with the Chedale Center for Biodiversity and Ecological Restoration (CCBER) at Coal Oil Point Reserve on the Goleta Coast. Coal Oil Point Reserve is one of many open spaces preserved and managed by the UC system for the purposes of research. CIR has conducted dozens of important and extensive invasive tree and shrub removal projects on the reserve over the last decade and we are proud to continue to collaborate with CCBER and UCSB on the preserve.

Elings Park Invasives Removal and Native Plant Installation

CIR has treated Pampas grass in Elings Park in Santa Barbara. Much of this work has occurred in very rugged terrain, and the plants were growing directly with native coastal sage scrub plants. We have and are currently restoring native plants to the vacant areas.

Lake Los Carneros

From 2009 to 2011, CIR restored sites along Los Carneros in Goleta. With funding from the Goleta Valley Land Trust, the project involved removal of key invasive plant species from the perimeter of the lake followed by revegetation of the area with native plants. More than 350 volunteers helped with the various stages of restoration. The project emphasized community involvement and education, and enhances important bird habitat and directly benefits Santa Barbara honeysuckle (a species of special concern.) We are proud to have worked closely with the City of Goleta on this project.

Lookout Park


Mission Canyon

CIR treated Arundo donax in rugged terrain in Mission Canyon near the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden.

Montecito Arundo Eradication

CIR has removed multiple large stands of Arundo donax under contract with the Montecito Fire Department at various locations along creeks in Montecito.

More Mesa Pampas Grass & Knapweed Eradication and Bluff Restoration

CIR has worked under contract with the Santa Barbara County Agricultural Commissioner's office to eradicate Papas grass (Cortaderia selloana) and Russian knappweed (Centaurea repens) at various locations on More Mesa in Goleta.

We have also conducted some erosion control measures for the Homeowners' Association by utulizing field staff trained in rappelling.

Parma Park Invasive Plant Eradication

CIR has worked under contract with the City of Santa Barbara Parks Department to remove several invasive species in Parma Park. Our work has involved careful invasive eradication in native plant communities.

San Marcos Foothills Restoration

San Roque Creek Arundo Eradication

CIR treated several large stands of Arundo donax on San Roque Creek under contract with the County of Santa Barbara.

Santa Barbara Botanic Garden Invasive Plant Control

CIR worked under contract with the Santa Barbara Botanic Gardens. We have treated several key invasive around sensitive native plants in the garden.

Hendrick Ranch Nature Area

CIR treated invasive (including Arundo donax) at the Hendric Ranch Nature Area on the Santa Clara River. We worked in partnership with Coastal Restoration Consultants.

Our field technicians are specially trained for projects involving herbicides or in sensitive areas. This project includes both scenarios.

McGrath North Shore Dune & Wetland Restoration

CIR is working with ARCADIS US to restore habitat near McGrath State Beach in Oxnard. The project includes wetland creation and dune enhancement on two parcels totaling nearly 30 acres. A major aspect of the project is protection of the Ventura marsh milk-vetch (Astragalus pycnostachyus var. lanosissimus), an endangered species that grows on the North Shore site. The milk-vetch was thought to be extinct until a small population was found growing at the North Shore site. CIR staff carefully removed invasive plants that are threatened the endangered milk-vetch.

Ormond Beach Dune Restoration

CIR worked under contract with The Nature Conservancy to eradicate Myoporum trees and iceplant at Ormond Beach in Oxnard.

Santa Clara River Arundo Eradication

City of Santa Paula

CIR partnered with Bio Resource Consultants to restore 5 acres of habitat on the Santa Clara River near Santa Paula. The project createdand enhanced riparian habitat to increase wildlife diversity, including the southwestern pond turtle. This project was implemented to mitigate the impacts of the City's new waste water treatment facility.

The Nature Conservancy

CIR has treated giant reed (Arundo donax) at three properties on the Santa Clara River owned by the Nature Conservancy (TNC). We continue to work on TNC property in partnership with Coastal Restoration Consultants.

Note the chainsaw in Kevin's hands. Arundo is no ordinary grass.

Conejo Open Space

CIR worked with the Conejo Open Space Foundation to remove invasive plants at various locations in the Conejo Open Space.

Rice Ranch Restoration

CIR worked with ARCADIS US to restore portions of the Rice Ranch area in Orcutt.

Kevin Thompson teaches volunteers how to properly apply organic weed-killer.

Saddle Peak Spanish Broom Eradication

Santa Monnica Mountains NRA

CIR worked in close cooperation with the Santa Monica Mountains Trails Council and the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area to eradicate Spanish broom (Spartium junceum) at Saddle Peak in the National Park. CIR staff trained volunteers in eradication techniques and helped supervise volunteers.

Peck Park Canyon

San Pedro

CIR is helping several agencies to remove non-native vegetation and to plant natives at Peck Park Canyon in San Pedro as part of a larger project. Peck Park Canyon is a 31 acre corridor located within Peck Park. The project includes erosion and sediment control, flood control and water quality improvements through the infiltration of storm water. CIR’s work focuses on high priority locations in the canyon streambed.