I am writing to express my deepest support for the efforts being undertaken by the Mission Creek Steelhead Restoration team here in Santa Barbara. Led by the tenacity of Brian Trautwein, the team is poised to make some very big strides in the long-term project to return steelhead to Santa Barbara’s Mission Creek and all of the Central Coast’s flowing streams. Being a lifetime Trout Unlimited member, and an Environmental Science major, I am certainly behind any restoration efforts.
The amazing part about this restoration project is that the fish will do the work once the path is clear. Since the channelization and other barriers have been installed along Mission Creek, the population has plummeted. Removal of the barriers, restoring the estuary, and retrofitting the concrete channel to allow for “resting pools” will enable the fish to return to the spawning beds that they truly need to survive. Once we have a few good seasons of breeding, the population will rebound on its own.
Imagine a day when there are thousands of steelhead running in our streams. That day existed once, and it can exist again. I commend Brian Trautwein, the Environmental Defense Center, the California Department of Fish and Game, the Santa Barbara City Creeks Division, the County of Santa Barbara, and all other partners who are involved in the campaign. Thank you all for your support of these very valiant efforts. We should all write to our local representatives to encourage continued support of projects like these, that serve to better the quality of life for all of the residents of the Central Coast.
Jon Heffner is project coordinator for Allenj Associates, specialists in commercial and residential green building.