A restoration project at Mesa Creek and the Arroyo Burro Beach
estuary is set to be completed in December. The project, which
includes the removal of a culvert and the construction of a
footbridge connecting Arroyo Burro Beach to the Douglas Family
Preserve, will be topped off by the planting of 3,000 trees on
December 2. The public is invited to participate.

A Thanksgiving Day landslide in La Conchita raised fears that
the coming winter rains will wreak havoc on the unstable cliffs
that abut the small South Coast town. Apparently the result of
geologic shifts in the steep cliffs – as opposed to water
seepage – the slide nevertheless represented an eerie reminder of
the disastrous slide of 2005, which killed 10 people. State and
Ventura County officials are conducting a nearly $700,000 study
meant to head off a similar disaster.

Just as chilly winter temperatures are invading the South Coast,
the National Weather Service announced this week that El Niño will
be paying us a visit this winter. Though this year’s incarnation of
the wind, rain, and heavy surf weather pattern should prove far
less destructive than the El Niño of 1997-1998, the turbulent
weather that results from warmer than normal equatorial surface
water temperatures promises to put a damper on the 805’s
picture-perfect afternoons.

In a small victory for local environmentalists and fans of
pristine coastal open space, county officials decided recently to
recirculate the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the proposed
development of the Naples property. Essentially reopening the
entire EIR process, the “recirculation” will include a new public
comment period – as well as a number of hearings – in hopes of
addressing various perceived environmental shortcomings. The final
EIR was scheduled to arrive before the Planning Commission for
approval in early January, but it now looks as if the plan for more
than 50 multimillion-dollar homes on the Gaviota Coast will have to
wait until at least next spring before a final EIR will be ready
for a vote.


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