East Beach Habitat Restoration Project

By the City of Santa Barbara

The East Beach Habitat Restoration Project (Project) will implement the restoration of native plants on sand dunes currently covered by non-native, invasive ice plant. Native coastal dune plant species aid in the formation of sand dunes, support local birds and wildlife, and honor Santa Barbara’s unique local ecology.

The Project will be conducted in a 1.13-acre area located at East Beach between the beach sand and the multi-use path, and between Calle Cesar Chavez and the informal soccer fields next to Palm Park Beach House. Removal methods include black tarp solarization and hand removal.

Solarization is the process of covering unwanted plants with black tarp for several months until the plants dry out. Dried ice plant branches will be removed, but their roots will be left in place to help stabilize the sand dunes. Installation of irrigation, native plant species, and wooden fencing will follow.

Efforts to solarize the existing ice plant previously commenced in December 2022. However, in coordination with the Harbor Department’s response to the January 10, 2023 storm damage, the solarizing tarps were removed to provide space for the emergency harbor dredging operations 24-inch pipe that is used to move dredge sand to East Beach.

The Project will remobilize in early September 2023. The solarization process is expected to be completed in November 2023. At that time, irrigation, native plant species, and fencing will be installed. Installation work is expected to be completed by end of December 2023. The project will include a five-year maintenance period to monitor and support plant establishment.

For more information about the Project, please contact Beth Anna Cornett, Senior Planner, at BCornett@SantaBarbaraCA.gov or (805) 564-5537.

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