Ormond Beach Wetlands Restoration Plan

Location: Ventura County

Project Type: Restoration Planning

Status: Current

Cost: $448,000

Area Affected: 1,100 acres

Assembly District: 37, 46

Senate District: 19, 29

Congressional District: 24, 28

Project Lead/Grantee:
California State Coastal Conservancy, Chris Kroll

At over 1,000 acres, Ormond Beach Wetlands is one of the largest wetland restoration opportunities in Southern California. Located in the City of Oxnard, Ormond Beach historically was a dumping ground for polluting industries. It is the site of a power plant and the EPA Halaco Superfund Site. South Oxnard, a poorer community, bears the brunt of this legacy. Most of the historic wetlands at Ormond Beach were drained and converted to agriculture and land use barriers such as roads and levees have hydrologically disconnected Ormond Beach wetlands from the 2,100 acres of wetlands associated with the adjacent Mugu Lagoon. This is one of the few places in coastal Southern California with an intact dune-transition zone–marsh system, allowing restoration of an intact wetland ecosystem and providing a buffer against sea level rise and the impacts of climate change. The largely agricultural surroundings provide an opportunity unique in most of coastal Southern California to expand the current protected areas and to restore the approximate extent of the historic wetland area.

The Coastal Conservancy and its partners will prepare a habitat restoration and public access plan for the coastal wetlands, beach, dunes, and associated uplands at Ormond Beach.  This plan will result in the adoption of an EIR/EIS and enable to project to move forward into the permitting phase.  A Preferred Alternative was selected, through a Restoration Feasibility Study, which proposes restoration of the historical lagoons, include related ecotones and grasslands, and allow room for shoreline transgression from sea level rise and storm erosion in accordance with complex models.