Location: Santa Barbara County
Project Type: Restoration
Funding Gap: $250,000
Area Affected: 136 acres
Assembly District: 37
Senate District: 19
UCSB Cheadle Center for Biodiversity and Ecological Restoration (CCBER); Lisa Stratton 805-893-4158
The project is part of a coordinated effort to protect and restore 650 acres of contiguous coastal habitat (known as the Ellwood-Devereux Open Space) in perpetuity. The project area totals 136 acres, including the 68.3 acre South Parcel, 64 acre Ocean Meadows golf course, and 3.7 acre Whittier parcel. Restoration of the slough will result in the creation of 45 acres of wetland habitat, including 22 acres of intermittently tidal estuarine wetlands and 56 acres of upland and transitional habitat. The project improves water quality in the slough by removing the current golf course, provides increased buffer area for storm surges and predicted sea level rise, increases permeable surfaces, and expands the capacity of the Devereux Creek floodplain. Fill material removed from the property as part of restoration activities has facilitated restoration of the neighboring 69-acre property to a matrix of perennial grassland, coastal sage scrub, oak chaparral and transitional salt marsh habitats.
The property provides a critical connection between adjacent areas of protected open space and lower Devereux Slough. Restoration of the property will also provide an unprecedented opportunity to create a wildlife corridor linking the Goleta Slough to the east with the existing protected lands to the west and south of the project site. The project provides public access and education opportunities through 5 overlooks, 2 miles of trail, establishment of a visitor plaza, outdoor classroom discovery trail and the potential restoration of several seasonal wetlands and perennial grassland adjacent to the entry area.