Hanson Floodplain Restoration

Location: Ventura County

Project Type: Restoration

Status: Current

Cost: $4,191,889

Funding Gap: 1,372,638

Area Affected: 238 acres

Project Footprint: 5805 stream miles

Assembly District: 37

Senate District: 19

Congressional District: 26

Project Lead/Grantee:
The Nature Conservancy, Peter Dixon (peter.dixon@tnc.org)

The Santa Clara River is one of the least altered river systems in all of California, with relatively natural flows and without significant channelization. The river flows over 100 miles from the San Gabriel Mountains in Los Angeles County westward across Ventura County and meets the Pacific Ocean near the City of Ventura. Due to its relatively natural condition, the Santa Clara River watershed not only provides habitat for numerous threatened and endangered species, but also creates a fertile valley for agriculture, and is an important source of water for the surrounding communities.

The Hanson property is approximately 1,000 acres, of which 345 acres are in the floodplain zone. The site is currently infested with the aggressive, invasive plant species Arundo donax, which disrupts natural stream flows and reduces the functions of native habitats for wildlife, including resident and migrating fish and aquatic species.

The project will focus on the restoration of 238 acres of riparian forest, riparian scrub and alluvial scrub. The goals of the project are to conserve, restore, enhance and create aquatic and riparian habitat based on the hydrologic and geomorphic processes that create and maintain these habitats. Eradication of Arundo donax and restoration of native habitat will increase stream flows and instream habitat complexity to support resident and migrating fish and aquatic species.  The restored habitat will dynamically evolve and increase in complexity over time providing direct benefits to the listed species and other wildlife that occur in and migrate through the project area.