Carpinteria Salt Marsh Dredging to Begin in April 2023

By the Santa Barbara County Public Works Department

Due to the increased flooding risk to adjacent properties and the City of Carpinteria, Santa Barbara County will begin an emergency dredging operation at the Carpinteria Salt Marsh approximately April 3.

Operations will continue until June. Dredging equipment may be delivered to the marsh through Carpinteria area streets and beach access points. The beach area within 400 feet of the marsh mouth will be closed to public access. Some trails in the marsh will also be closed intermittently. 

The Santa Barbara County Flood Control District is working with the Santa Barbara Land Trust, UC Santa Barbara, the City of Carpinteria, and the community to ensure the safety of the community and wildlife and minimize disruption to the community. 

After the creek flows receded following the extreme rains from January and following the storms over the past two months, the Carpinteria Salt Marsh revealed an extreme amount of sedimentation. This sedimentation obstructs Santa Monica Creek and Franklin Creeks.

When these channels are obstructed, the community is at increased risk for flooding throughout the City of Carpinteria. Obstructed channels also interrupt the tidal cycle in the marsh, which reduces habitat for fish and wildlife that rely on open water channels for habitat and foraging. 

The County will use hydraulic dredge vessels to remove sediment from the drainage channels in the marsh. The hydraulic dredge vessel exports water and sediment through a discharge pipe into the surf zone at a designated location near the mouth of the Salt Marsh.

The dredge will operate up to 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to expedite the operation. The marsh was dredged similarly following the 1/9/18 Debris Flow.   

On Monday, January 9, 2023, Santa Barbara County proclaimed a local emergency due to the January 2023 storm impacts. Dredging operations are conducted through emergency permits from state and federal agencies. Sediment within the marsh has been sampled and tested.

Flood Control and Environmental Health staff will perform ocean water samples twice per week during operations. Weekly reports with information on sampling results are sent to regulatory agencies. Sampling results are posted at   


Written by Anonymous

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  1. That was my take too. I said as much, and immediately I got a few of the usual sour/anti/knee jerk, whatever you wanna call them type of replies that I often receive here. And apparently sometime after that it all got deleted. No problem.
    Go ahead and ask anyone out at UCSB in the Bio Dept. if they think dredging ANY coastal marshland is a good. Then report back.

  2. Dredging is horrible for the environment. As normal as they want it to sound, it destroys natural habitats. The marsh was there before they decided to build. They knew it was a terrible idea but of course, people with money and entitlement win again.
    I agree, where is the green party in all this??? The environmental defense center? The EPA??

  3. The sooner they dredge out the Carp marsh the better for that system’s health. No doubt there are a handful of folks who don’t want anyone to do anything, but then again there’s only a few folks like that. The entire ecosystem in that wetland will benefit from a good dredging. It’s not exactly the same, but there were a few folks who didn’t want to see Goleta Beach replenished. I was at Goleta Beach yesterday, and there was actually a nice right-hand break coming off the new sandbar. A guy was also catching some nice perch in that area as well. Sometimes things like dredging and replenishment need to be done…..and thank goodness our government is doing it the right way.

  4. This is a common practice going back years and years. I don’t understand why the kerfuffle. The dredged sentiment will replenish our beaches so we can enjoy them during the summer months. The winter storms have depleted the sand far more than in normal years. And it helps the wildlife preserve their way of life using the marsh. The only ones who lose are people with political agendas.

  5. Why are the usual characters bringing up politics in this?? Nobody cares about your anonymous internet opinions. Literally no one. Usually I chime in but it’s just getting silly. Go for a walk with your partner. Learn to cook something. Get a hobby. Watch interesting Youtube videos. Anything but this tiresome keyboard warrior diarrhea.

  6. Once again I ask why are we meddling with nature. It’s anti green.
    Just because there are excuses like moving sand to beaches that are eroded, by nature. Just because houses are in danger when they were built in a flood zone.
    All man made excuses to screw with nature.
    Man will screw with nature when it suits them.

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