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Due to the increased flooding risk to adjacent properties and the City of Carpinteria, Santa  Barbara County will conduct an emergency dredging operation at the Carpinteria Salt Marsh. Final  plans and surveys are underway, with operations expected to begin in mid-March. Operations will  continue as needed until the amount of sediment in the marsh is no longer a flood risk to the  community. Further information will be provided as it develops. 

The County proposes to use a hydraulic dredge vessel to remove sediment from the drainage  channels in the marsh. The hydraulic dredge vessel exports water and sediment through a  discharge pipe into the surf zone at a designated location near the mouth of the Salt Marsh. The  dredge may operate up to 24 hours a day, seven days a week to expedite the operation. The  marsh was dredged in a similar fashion previously following the 1/9/18 Debris Flow.  

After the creek flows receded following the extreme rains from January, the Carpinteria Salt Marsh  revealed an extreme amount of sedimentation. This sedimentation obstructs Santa Monica Creek  and Franklin Creeks. When these channels are obstructed, the community is at increased risk for  flooding throughout the City of Carpinteria. Obstructed channels also interrupt the tidal cycle in the  

marsh, which reduces habitat for fish and wildlife that rely on open water channels for habitat and  foraging.  

On Monday, January 9, 2023, Santa Barbara County proclaimed a local emergency due to the  January 2023 storm impacts. Dredging operations are conducted through emergency permits from  state and federal agencies. Flood Control staff will take sediment samples and ocean water  samples during operations. Weekly reports with information on sampling results are sent to  regulatory agencies. Sampling results will also be posted at

For more information on the County’s response to the local emergency, visit


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