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C&E-1.2

Open Space & Wildlife

We are fortunate to be surrounded by so much natural beauty within California’s south central coast. The coastal bluffs, fertile agricultural lands, and unsurpassed creeks and rivers are what draw so many people to live, work, and play in this region. But this is also why our communities need EDC to represent the public interests and stand up against the immense development pressures that threaten our communities and healthy environment.  EDC has helped preserve more than 100,000 acres, including Ellwood Mesa, Douglas Family Preserve, Carpinteria Bluffs, Sedgwick Ranch, Fiscalini Ranch, Hearst Ranch, Ahmanson Ranch, Oxnard Shores, Burton Mesa Chaparral, and more.

Rancho La Laguna – Prime Ag Land in the Santa Ynez Valley

Rancho La Laguna is 4,000 acres of incredibly rich and scenic farmland located in the Santa Ynez Valley, with rolling hills, deep canyons, oak forests and home to fifty-six rare animal and plant species. The Ranch is proposed to be split into smaller lots for development, but EDC and our clients are working to preserve the agricultural integrity of the property.

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Solvang’s New Water Well Proposal in the Santa Ynez River

EDC and CalTrout are working to ensure adequate flows in the Santa Ynez River so endangered steelhead trout can migrate to their spawning grounds, and to preserve opportunities for public recreation. We are working to urge the State Water Resources Control Board to deny the City of Solvang’s petition to drill more wells in the River. The City should instead focus on improving its water conservation efforts in this time of severe drought.

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Target Shooting in the Los Padres National Forest

Decades of unmanaged target shooting across nearly two million acres of the Los Padres National Forest resulted in a proliferation of litter, soil and water contamination, wildfires, vandalism, harm to endangered wildlife, and other environmental and public safety hazards.

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Twitchell Dam

In our continued effort to protect the endangered Southern California Steelhead Trout, EDC and our client Los Padres ForestWatch have filed a lawsuit to compel the Santa Maria Valley Water Conservation District to modify its operations of Twitchell Dam to ensure sufficient water is available for steelhead trout to migrate to their breeding grounds.

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More Mesa

For more than 30 years EDC has protected this 300-acre beloved open space and coastal bluff area from development proposals. More Mesa was sold once again in 2012 and EDC will remain vigilant to ensure permanent protection of this community treasure for us all to continue to hike, bike, birdwatch and access the beach.

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Naples

The Environmental Defense Center has been working for more than 19 years to permanently protect Naples, the crown jewel of the Gaviota Coast. This is not just one of Southern California’s largest remaining continuous stretches of undeveloped rural coastline but also, without exaggeration, one of the most important ecological regions on the planet. The region hosts 1,400 plant and animal species, and the coastal area including Naples Reef is internationally known as a “biodiversity hotspot.” The Gaviota Coast boasts some of the oldest and best-preserved archaeological sites in California and attracts more than one million visitors each year to enjoy the beauty of its celebrated beaches, canyons, and trails.

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Ormond Beach Wetlands

In 2012, EDC successfully stopped the development of more than 1,500 new residential units, which would have polluted and degraded the precious Ormond Beach wetlands in Oxnard. This area, which is home to hundreds of migratory birds and a popular recreation area for the community, is now being restored to one of the largest coastal wetlands in Southern California.

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Protecting Agricultural Land

EDC has convened a diverse group from the agricultural and conservation communities to find “win-win” solutions to preserving precious agriculture land and open space and avoid sprawl throughout Santa Barbara County.

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Santa Ynez River

Since the Bradbury Dam was constructed in the 1950s, endangered steelhead trout have not been able to migrate to their spawning grounds upstream, causing populations to plummet by 99%. EDC is working to ensure there is water for people, for fish, and for recharging groundwater supplies.

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