The Surfrider Foundation Ventura County Chapter acknowledges the interconnectedness of all things. Ecosystem-based management (EBM) is a term that describes responsible care for natural resources and urban environments that takes into account the connections between physical, biological, and social processes. Public knowledge depends on public access. For this reason, the chapter advocates for pollution prevention and science-based natural resource management inland and upstream.
Three campaigns focused on the Ventura River Watershed illustrate these principles well; maximum success for each one can only be achieved through success for all.
Instead of building a seawall or other coastal armor, which would have destroyed the beach and surf break, stakeholders came together and approved a plan to move the parking lot, pedestrian path, and bike path away from the tideline. Phase I of construction was completed in 2011.
Since then, Surfrider volunteers have contributed to the resilience and beautification of the Point by planting and maintaining sand dunes and bioswales with native vegetation to protect the beach and water from stormwater runoff, and protect the bike path and parking lot from the waves. While erosion damaged parts of the Ventura Promenade in winter of 2015, Surfers’ Point remained both attractive and functional.
Its goal is to meet the needs of recreation by bicyclists, beachgoers, fairgoers, and, of course, surfers, for many years, while simultaneously enhancing our local environment. The next goal for Managed Retreat is Phase II of Surfers’ Point, which would protect the beach downcoast of the Point toward the Ventura Promenade.
The Matilija Dam is obsolete. Instead of storing water, it is storing sediments that would normally replenish our beaches. In addition, the endangered Southern Steelhead Trout has been unable to access historic prime breeding areas for over 50 years.
Ventura County Surfrider is a member of The Matilija Coalition, the primary community advocate for restoration of the upper Ventura River. Our main focus is a public outreach campaign to gain local, state, and national support for a multi-agency dam removal effort. Our strategy is to build the Coalition by linking government, science, and the community through a diversity of programs and activities, including direct participation in the decision-making process.
Click below to read Paul Jenkin’s blog, which has detailed descriptions of the slow road to a freer Ventura River and check out the video below for a great overview.
The Ventura River is one of the last self-sustaining rivers in Southern California. It supports one of the greatest diversities of plants and animals in the region. It carries sediments that nourish Surfers’ Point and other downcoast beaches. Ever since people first arrived at its banks, the river has been an invaluable water source and gathering place. Over time, however, restrictive land use, invasive species, and other human-constructed barriers cut the people off from the river.
The Ventura River Parkway plan seeks to restore the Ventura River ecosystem and recreate the human connection to the river that once existed. The plan has been developed by the Friends of the Ventura River coalition, of which Surfrider Ventura County is a member.