Associated Students Coastal Fund at UCSB has awarded $40,000 towards habitat restoration at the Santa Clara River, a future University of California’ s research station six miles outside the city of Santa Paula.
This grant will establish a self-sustaining native habitat and create a hands-on learning opportunity for UCSB students. Students will work closely with highly trained specialists to design and conduct a program to eradicate the invasive plant, Arundo donax.
Currently, A. donax compromises the habitat value of the site for native plants and animals, such as the threatened Southwestern Willow Flycatcher and Least Bell’ s Vireo. Students will also restore the ecosystem to a more functional state through re-vegetation of native plant species and ecological monitoring.
Site research will uncover the effects of exotic plant invasion and the potentially devastating consequences on local riparian and coastal areas. The program will provide a framework for expanded restoration projects, which is critical for maintaining the extraordinary biodiversity of this area for future generations.
“Coastal Fund is extremely fortunate to be able to participate in laying the groundwork for a hugely important research station as part of the UC Natural Reserve System,” said Pilar Alomia, Coastal Fund Chair and UCSB student.
The project began in spring 2010 and is due for completion in winter 2010.
Coastal Fund is a student-funded, student-run organization that serves to preserve, protect, and enhance the terrestrial and marine habitats associated with the UCSB shoreline. Since the fall of 1999, Coastal Fund has granted $1.68 million to over 417 projects.