Environment 8-27

The California Department of Fish & Game is seeking partners to help develop a fishery management plan for the California spiny lobster. One of the main money-earners in the Santa Barbara Channel, the lobster is being considered for a management plan due to both its ecological and economic importance. Essentially uncharted waters for a fishery management process, the call for partners is due primarily to state funding issues and Fish & Game’s inability to secure a cash flow to implement the program on its own. The agency will decide early next year whether the partnership process will move forward.


Thanks to federal stimulus funding, the City of Santa Barbara will get $500,000 to pay a private engineering company to design a natural-bottomed fish passage along Mission Creek by Mission Street, enabling steelhead trout to make their way from the ocean to spawning grounds farther upstream. Currently, the cement-bottomed stretch of creek Caltrans installed decades ago blocks fish passage. In addition, $1.6 million in federal stimulus funds will enable City Hall to construct vegetated swales and miniature wetlands along the upper reaches of Las Positas Creek. These natural filters will better absorb storm runoff and pesticides trickling into the watershed from adjacent neighborhoods and the Municipal Golf Course.


Federal stimulus dollars will cover the $1.7 million needed by Santa Barbara City Hall to install 1,400 retractable storm drain screens designed to block contaminated debris from flowing into city creeks and out into the ocean. Because the screens are retractable, however, they can be opened during intense rains to allow greater flow volumes.


The recovery plan for Southern California’s steelhead will be the topic of discussion at a public workshop scheduled for 5 p.m. on 9/1 at the DoubleTree Resort. Biologists and members of the organizations responsible for writing and implementing the recovery plan will be present to explain it. There will also be an opportunity for the public to offer suggestions and comments before the final plan is completed.


More than 1,300 solar panels were recently installed above the carports at Santa Barbara City College, and the panels will collect 230 kilowatts of energy. Installed by Ojai Solar and also providing shade for parked cars, the panels will provide about 30 percent of the energy required on West Campus.

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