The Goleta slough and other waterways along the Santa Barbara coast are now safe places for the tidewater goby, as they were among the 12,000-plus acres of California land officially designated as critical habitat for the endangered, small, grey-brown fish that lives in brackish water. “It’s so important to protect these habitats along the coasts because when the goby does become extirpated following a big flood or fire or drought, it can recolonize from an upcoast population,” explained Brian Trautwein of the Environmental Defense Center, which supported the decision. He is also working with the City of Santa Barbara to address an artesian well that’s flowing to Mission Creek and the Laguna channel, potentially threatening gobies there.


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