Refugio Creek Arundo Removal Project

Starting the in the fall of 2006, Channel Islands Restoration began removing Arundo donax from Refugio Creek west of the City of Goleta in Santa Barbara County. CIR is worked on this restoration project 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 more than 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 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.