The restoration of the historic Ormond Beach wetlands requires the acquisition of 1,100 acres. Only 250 acres of degraded wetlands remain of what was a unique coastal wetland in southern California. In June 2002, the Coastal Conservancy acquired 265 acres formerly owned by Southern California Edison. In June 2006, the Nature Conservancy completed purchase, with state funding, of 276 acres from Metropolitan Water District (MWD). The next priority acquisition was the 340-acre Sod Farm property, acquired through this project.
Ormond Beach is considered by wetland experts to be the most important wetland restoration opportunity in southern California. Unlike other coastal wetland restoration projects in southern California, there is room to restore the approximate extent of historic wetlands, provide surrounding upland habitat to complete the ecosystem and accommodate sea level rise. The biological significance of this area has been recognized and its restoration potential endorsed by all of the federal and state resource agencies that participate in the Southern California Wetlands Recovery Project. With their support and the unanimous support of the County of Ventura and the City of Oxnard, the Conservancy is pursuing acquisition at Ormond Beach with a goal of acquiring at least 900 acres at Ormond Beach to accommodate wetland and other habitat needs and at the same time complement the City’s goal to complete development of the south Oxnard community. Acquisition and restoration of these properties could at least triple the extent of habitat at Ormond Beach.