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Tracking measurable success on efforts across California to preserve and connect our Parks & Wildlife Corridors

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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Ventura Coast Wetlands--send letters now!

Public Support for Ventura County's Ormond Beach Wetlands Needed Now

5/18/2009--The Ormond Beach wetlands are located in the City of Oxnard, between Port Hueneme and the Point Mugu Naval Base. Like many of our dwindling Southern California wetlands, they have been severely degraded and fragmented by human development. Much of the historical acreage has been filled in to create agricultural fields, ocean front residences, and to support industry, including the Halaco facility, which is now a Superfund site. In spite of all this, the Ormond Beach wetlands are a renowned ecological treasure among scientists and nature lovers. The Ormond Beach wetland area supports over 200 species of migratory birds, including the endangered California least tern and western snowy plover. Major efforts are underway to permanently protect habitat and restore and expand the wetlands. If successful, this could be one of the largest wetland areas in Southern California.

ormond beach LK

Unfortunately, there are some major land use decisions currently pending in the City of Oxnard that threaten to undermine these considerable protection and restoration efforts. Immediately on the horizon is the City of Oxnard's public hearing and review of the environmental impacts of its draft 2030 General Plan. The City's draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) considers the potential environmental impacts associated with the City's maps, goals, policies and implementation programs through the year 2030. [NOTE: the City will also hold hearings about the content of the draft 2030 General Plan, and EDC will send additional Messenger items to alert you about these important events.]

EDC represents the Los Padres Chapter of the Sierra Club and the Environmental Coalition of Ventura County on this critical coastal issue. Please add your voice to this effort by writing to the City of Oxnard to state your support for the expansion and restoration of the Ormond Beach wetland area, urge the City to prioritize the restoration of Ormond Beach wetlands in its 2030 General Plan, and request that the City re-circulate its draft EIR because of the following problems in the document:
  • The 2030 General Plan would continue to allow a substantial amount of industrial land use in the Ormond Beach area, and the draft EIR does not adequately consider the impacts of allowing such uses near the wetlands.
  • The draft EIR does not consider the effects of sea level rise in the Ormond Beach area. If sea level rise is not accounted for, proposed development in the Ormond Beach area could limit the ability of the wetlands to migrate inland as sea level rises, resulting in the loss of wetlands and habitat for threatened and endangered species.
  • The draft EIR does not consider alternatives that focus on coastal protection. The EIR should include an alternative that would designate all land use in the vicinity of Ormond Beach consistent with the protection, expansion and restoration of the wetlands. There should be no industrial land use south of Hueneme Road. This alternative would be the environmentally superior alternative.

SEND YOUR COMMENTS by 5 p.m. Friday May 22 to:
MAIL: Christopher Williamson, SENIOR PLANNER
OXNARD, CA 93030
FAX: 805-385-7417

Comments can also be presented during a public hearing before the Planning Commission on Thursday, May 21.

For more information about the Oxnard 2030 General Plan, see the City of Oxnard's website

Stay tuned for more opportunities to take action to support the Ormond Beach wetlands!

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