Carpinteria Salt Marsh, Basin 1 Enhancement Plan

Location: Santa Barbara County

Project Type: Restoration Planning

Status: Completed

Habitat Type: Tidal Wetland

Cost: $100,000

Area Affected: 230 acres

Assembly District: 37

Senate District: 19

Congressional District: 24

Project Lead/Grantee:
The Land Trust of Santa Barbara County (William Abbott, 805-966-4520)

This project prepared an enhancement plan for restoration of Basin 1, approximately 230 acres in Carpinteria. Carpinteria Marsh is located immediately west of Carpinteria, approximately 12 miles east of Santa Barbara. It encompasses approximately 230 acres and is separated into the following subareas: Basin 1, Basin 2, Basin 3 and South Marsh as shown in Figure 2. The Carpinteria Salt Marsh Wetland Enhancement Plan (“Plan”) calls for restoration and/or enhancement of degraded historic wetlands and transitional and upland areas (1991). Several groups are actively involved in accomplishing objectives of the Plan including the Land Trust for Santa Barbara with funding from the California State Coastal Conservancy, the Carpinteria Salt Marsh Steering Committee, the University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB) and the Santa Barbara County Flood Control District (SBCFCD).

As the 15-acre Carpinteria Salt Marsh Nature Park (the Nature Park) has been recently restored, the Plan now calls for restoration and enhancement of Basin 1 and the South Marsh, which together encompass a 36-acre area. Basin 1 and South Marsh are composed of relic wetlands, and transitional and upland habitats. The Land Trust for Santa Barbara County recently secured funds from the California State Coastal Conservancy to design the improvements. This project is to finalize the conceptual enhancement plan for Basin 1 and South Marsh.

The objectives of the Carpinteria Salt Marsh Wetland Enhancement Plan for Basin 1 and the South Marsh were to:

1. Restore and/or enhance degraded historic wetlands including restoring tidal circulation;
2. Restore and/or enhance degraded transitional and upland areas;
3. Remove non-native vegetation;
4. Establish public access opportunities within Basin 1;
5. Replace earthen material sloughed off of the flood control levee at the Nature Park back onto the levee and restore one closed tidal connection to a small basin;
6. Coordinate improvements with future flood control improvements anticipated by the Santa Barbara County Flood Control District; and
7. Restore/re-establish historic wetland area that can be applied toward mitigation of impacts caused by the flood control project and installation of a flood wall.