North Campus Open Space

NCOS News

Welcome to NCOS News - the place for updates and events related to the North Campus Open Space Restoration Project.

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NCOS News - May 2017

 

Project Updates

  • In the last couple weeks, the NCOS grading contractors have been establishing environmental protection measures, salvaging special soil and plants (Figure 1), and removing the cement golf cart pathways and buried obsolete water and irrigation pipes in preparation for grading and movement of soil, which will begin the second week of May. Grading and soil movement will be done using low ground pressure equipment specially designed to work in and around wetlands (Figure 2).
  • A ground breaking celebration was held on Wednesday, April 25th to mark the next major step in the restoration of the upper arms of Devereux Slough. Articles about the event were published by the US Fish and Wildlife Service, and a local news source.
  • UCSB has opened the bidding for contracts to construct the trails and bridges portion of the restoration project, and we hope these will be completed within a year.
  • CCBER staff and collaborating biologists have completed surveys for tidewater goby and California red-legged frog (CRLF) in the creeks and ponds of NCOS. No individuals of either species were found during the surveys. CRLF have never been documented as being present in Devereux Creek, but have been found in Bell and Tecolote creeks to the west. Tidewater Goby were found in Phelps and Devereux Creeks, and in Devereux slough before the drought, but haven’t been observed in the past 4 years in either location.
  • The Southern California Wetlands Recovery Project awarded CCBER a $30,000 grant to restore riparian habitat to an expanded channel off Whittier Drive. This project will begin in September and will include community planting days, funding for school trips, birding and educational tours. We look forward to your participation in the Whittier Channel Restoration Project!
  • The California Natural Resources Agency recently awarded $350,000 in Environmental Enhancement funds to CCBER to enhance and restore the 25 acres of the South Parcel Reserve that lie between the current South Parcel and NCOS restoration projects. We’ll be removing invasive pampas grass, harding grass, fennel and mustard from the site in the coming years.

 

             Figure 1. The pictures above show native plant and special soil salvage efforts at the NCOS restoration project.

 

                 Figure 2. These pictures show the low ground pressure tractors and graders that will be used for the grading and soil movement.

 

Feature Story

NCOS – A Water Story: The past, present, and future hydrology of Devereux Slough

The 2016-17 rainfall season turned out to be wetter than expected, and this was reflected by repeated flooding of the former Ocean Meadows golf course and NCOS project site. A series of water level monitoring devices in the creeks that flow into Devereux Slough, and in the slough itself, tell an interesting story of how the precipitation and the hydrology of the site interacted prior to the restoration project. Click here to read more of this story and see interesting historical imagery of the site and graphs of rainfall and water level data!

 

Volunteer Opportunities

  • Plant a legacy tree and watch it grow as you access Ellwood Mesa! There are three more opportunities to help plant oak trees near the Phelps Road access to Ellwood Mesa - Saturdays in May: May 6, 13 and 20th from 9-12. Contact Your Children’s Trees to volunteer. 50 of the 86 trees have been planted. Nectar, pollen and seed-producing coastal sage scrub plants will be planted later to enhance the ecological functions of this site.

 

  • Join the CCBER Greenhouse Associates Thursday mornings (9:00 – 12:00)!  Come transplant seedlings, learn about restoration, get to know your neighbors and CCBER staff, and help maintain native plants and their nursery! To join, please send an email to ncos@ccber.ucsb.edu

 

 

Community Forum

We realize that the temporary fencing of North Campus Open Space may be frustrating. For your safety, please respect the fences during the construction period. We are working very hard to complete the restoration, trails and bridges as expeditiously as possible, and we look forward to opening the restored NCOS site to the public as soon as possible. Our goal is to open the site by April 2018, when we hope to have the trails completed. However restoration work will be in full swing at that time, and there will be vehicles using the trails to deliver plants, and shuttle tools and supplies. We will be continuously assessing how the shared use works. Progress on completing the construction may also be affected by the fall and winter rains, so it is difficult to pinpoint the exact schedule at this time.

We gladly welcome volunteer help, and there are opportunities to get involved now in restoration work at the CCBER native plant nursery and on field sites in and adjacent to the NCOS project site. If you’re interested in these opportunities, please send an email to: ncos@ccber.ucsb.edu

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