After many years of talk and delay, an eco-friendly, natural-bottomed, scaled-back flood control plan for lower Mission Creek is finally going back to the California Coastal Commission for review and approval. Discussions about fixing Mission Creek date back to 1962, which may account for the geriatric jokes that dominated Tuesday’s Santa Barbara City Council discussion. It’s been five years since the Coastal Commission sent the plans back to City Hall and the Army Corps of Engineers for changes. The required changes focused on protecting the tidewater goby, a small but endangered fish living in what one property owner refers to as “Sewer Lagoon.” Today, environmentalists are giving the revisions a solid thumbs-up. David Pritchett of the Creeks Committee exhorted the council to plan for Mission Creek in its entirety, rather than in small stretches running from Carrillo to the ocean. City Councilmember Brian Barnwell concurred emphatically, and bemoaned the dearth of planning for creeks, lamenting, “The lack of it screams at me.”

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