Friends 2014 Year End Update

2014 Year End Update

from the Ventura River watershed

National Recreation Trail

In June 2014 the Ventura River Parkway Trail was designated a National Recreation Trail (NRT).  About 100 members of the public attended the dedication as well as many of our elected officials.   This achievement was months in the making with the application and selection process.

Congresswoman Julia Brownley gave our effort a boost by submitting a letter to the National Park Service selection committee in support of our application.  Our trail is now listed in the database of National Recreation Trails online, available to all who are looking for outdoor trail experiences:

Ventura River Parkway Trail

The 16.5-mile Ventura River Parkway Trail includes two major trails: the Ventura River Trail and the Ojai Valley Trail. From the Ventura River Estuary to the City of Ojai, the contiguous corridor of pedestrian and cycling trails, river crossings and public access points reconnects people in city neighborhoods and rural communities to the river. The trail links diverse neighborhoods to nature to give health and fitness benefits to both youth and adult populations.”

This designation is a significant recognition since slightly over 1,200 trails are so designated in the entire United States.  NRT status should assist us in securing future grant funding as we expand and improve the Parkway.

Trail Signage Task Force

A  Friends task force (including representatives from the City, County and conservation groups) will resume work in January to move the Ventura River Parkway Trail signage project forward.   The signage includes 9-1-1 mile markers, the National Recreation Trail logo and the Ventura River Parkway logo.  At this time it is contemplated that the signage will be affixed to the trail at quarter mile increments to aid users in gauging their progress and emergency responders in locating people in need of medical assistance.

The Ventura River Parkway Map

The English version is available at:  City of Ventura Parks & Rec Department, Patagonia Retail Store, Real Cheap Sports, REI, The Mob Shop in Ojai, Open Air Bike Shop, Ventura Visitor’s Center, Ojai Visitor’s Center and a few other outdoor venues.  Our local land conservancies (VHC and OVLC) also have a supply of maps. The Spanish language version is distributed on demand at community events.

Friends of the Ventura River

Friends again joined with the Ventura Hillsides Conservancy and other conservation organizations to host the Annual Picnic at the River in June.  Friends also participated in Ventura Unified’s Summerfest, the City of Ventura’s first annual “Parking Day” and Patagonia’s Salmon Run.  Friends continues to work with the West Ventura Community on access to the Parkway Trail to connect the Westside with the great recreational opportunities that it provides.  It was a busy year for outreach.

Ventura Audubon Society

The Ventura Audubon Society  will hold its Annual Christmas Bird Count on Saturday, January 3, 2015.  The counts take place at various locations in Ventura County.

To sign up to participate or learn more about count locations near you, contact Alexis Frangis at: or Frank DeMartino at

Ojai Valley Land Conservancy

The Ojai Valley Land Conservancy (OVLC) acquired 2 new properties in 2014. One will add 24 acres to the Ventura River Preserve, expanding conservancy lands along the Ventura River Parkway. The land is along the floodplain and has excellent examples of a riparian scrub plant community. This project was made possible by a grant from the California Coastal Conservancy. The property may allow for a future trail route.

A second property, consisting of 165 acres of wild lands in Senior Canyon, surrounded on three sides by The Los Padres National Forest, was purchased at a public auction. The property forms the watershed for Senior Canyon Creek, which is the water source for the Senior Canyon Mutual Water Company. The purchase was made possible by an anonymous donor to the OVLC and a consortium of water company members, and permanently protects this vital water source. It is being conserved as a natural area, so public trails are planned for this site.

In addition to new acquisitions, the Ojai Valley Land Conservancy launched the 1% for Ojai program in 2014. The program is a partnership with local businesses to gather donations to support the acquisition and maintenance of publicly accessible open space and trails. Fifteen businesses have already signed on to help manage open space and trails.

Throughout the Ojai Valley, the OVLC now owns and manages over 2,000 acres of publicly accessible open space. Responsible stewardship of these lands is critical to maintaining the quality of outdoor experiences enjoyed by preserve visitors.  In recognition of the elevated focus on preserve management, the OVLC recently promoted preserve manager Rick Bisaccia to the role of Stewardship Director. Rick will oversee preserve management and develop projects to improve OVLC’s preserves.

Find out about opportunities to volunteer with OVLC.

Ventura Hillsides Conservancy

The Ventura Hillsides Conservancy continues to work with State Parks and a crew of dedicated volunteers to clear illegal camps from State Parks land in the estuary.  The recent rainfall blocked access to the island in the estuary which was the site of many camps and from which tons of waste have been removed via boat to transport it back to the mainland and EJ Harrison dumpsters.  On December 20, VHC partnered with the Sea-Bees and Surfrider to focus on collecting the last few tons of trash from the estuary.

The Conservancy is planning its Wild & Scenic  Film Festival for March 13-14, 2015 and encourages attendees to purchase tickets early since both nights sold out for the 2014 event.

To get involved in restoration & trail building opportunities on Conservancy preserves, contact Dashiell Dunkell at 805-643-8044 or

Matilija Dam Ecosystem Restoration Project

Measured progress is being made to develop a plan for removal of Matilija Dam.  Studies are now underway to resolve the sediment management issues and reduce the cost of the project.  The work is being performed by a combined consultant team from two firms, URS and Stillwater Sciences, both of whom have considerable experience with other major dam removal and river restoration projects in the western United States, including the removal of the dams on the Elwah River and the Condit Dam on the White Salmon River (both in Washington state)..

A report on the study group’s recommendations will be published in early 2015, and interim reports are downloadable at  Stay tuned for more information in 2015.

To see status of the project as of May 2014:  more info

An update from the 2014 Salmonid Conference in Santa Barbara by Paul Jenkin (an approximately 20 minute video).

Ventura River Watershed Planning: Ventura River Watershed Council




The Ventura River Watershed Management Plan Parts 1 and 2 are Approved and available on the Watershed Council Website

The first half of the Ventura River Watershed Management Plan was provisionally approved by the Watershed Council at the November 20, 2014 meeting. Final approval will come when the entire plan is complete.

The Table of Contents, Executive Summary, Part 1 – About this Plan, and Part 2 – Watershed Plan, Projects, and Programs, are now available in pdf format on the Council’s website, capping off two years of intensive work by Lorraine Walter, and her excellent skills at marshaling the assistance of the Ventura River Watershed Council.

Read more about the SAVE MORE WATER campaign.

Read more about the Ventura River Watershed.

Surfrider, Ventura Chapter

Surfrider continues to promote its Ocean Friendly Gardens(OFG) initiative that was identified in a UCSB Bren School graduate thesis as one of the best strategies for water savings in the Ventura River Watershed.  This strategy is especially important during our drought and in preparing for a future with less rainfall.  The results are beautiful (we have incredible native plants), less water is used and more water is able to percolate during rainfall events.

Read more about the OFG campaign.

Santa Barbara Channelkeeper

Santa Barbara Channelkeeper and the Environmental Defense Center (EDC) have entered into an agreement with the owner of the Ojai Quarry to settle the lawsuit filed last year alleging that stormwater management practices at the Quarry were violating requirements of the federal Clean Water Act and Endangered Species Act, resulting in polluted runoff that threatened water quality as well as the ability of steelhead to migrate upstream as a necessary part of their life cycle.

Under the agreement, the Quarry has committed to implement a host of best management practices to reduce erosion and runoff and prevent blockages to migration of steelhead from the facility, which will reduce pollution and benefit water quality and fish habitat in North Fork Matilija Creek and the Ventura River. In addition, the Quarry has agreed to donate $60,000 of rock product to South Coast Habitat Restoration for steelhead passage projects in three local creeks.

Check on SB Channelkeepers CALENDAR of events.

Also, along the River…

Ventura County Watershed Protection District (WPD) has continued Arundo removal in both the Ventura River and San Antonio Creek.  A 2014 Prop 84 grant for $896K was received by County WPD together with the Ojai Valley Land Conservancy which will complete Arundo removal in San Antonio Creek, making it the first  watershed in the county to be cleared of Arundo.

The MultiChem facility was shuttered and cleaned-up pursuant to a County enforcement action with Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) oversight.  Through the combined enforcement efforts of the US EPA and Ventura County, the Multichem facility has had soil contamination and  most hazardous material clean-up completed, and the petroleum storage tanks and numerous small buildings and pieces of equipment have been removed.  The County and property owner are working on a schedule for removal of remaining equipment.

The San Antonio Creek Spreading Grounds project was completed by the Ventura County WPD which will allow additional stormwater capture and infiltration in a manner that does not compromise downstream habitat values.

Biofiltration Project – Ventura County received grant funding in the amount of $1 million for a large-scale storm water biofiltration project in the Meiners Oaks area to be completed in conjunction with the Ojai Valley Land Conservancy.  It also includes a community outreach-education program on Ocean Friendly Gardens (OFG)  in conjunction with the Ventura Chapter of Surfrider.

Southern Steelhead – The first Southern Steelhead Restoration conference was held in Ventura, with field trips led by knowledgable conservationists for participants and elected officials to locations of interest in the Ventura River Watershed.


Friends of the Ventura River is a coalition of community groups and individuals who recognize the need for the protection and enhancement of the Ventura River watershed to improve our quality of life and ensure our future sustainability.

We invite you to visit our website at – this is a place for friends to post their ideas, concerns, and activities and provide for a community forum about the river in our backyard.

Please contact Paul ( or Diane ( to find out how you or your organization can get involved!

The Ventura River Parkway Trail — now a National Recreation Trail!

Hi Friends!

National Trails Day was a great day for the Friends of the Ventura River and our efforts to restore the Ventura River and reconnect people to the river. The Ventura Hillsides Conservancy (VHC) did a fabulous job hosting the event.  (Lee Sherman and Derek Poultney were recognized for all of the amazing the work they do.)

The Ventura River Parkway Trail combines the Ventura River Trail with the Ojai Valley Trail giving bikers and hikers a great 16.5-mile trail connecting the estuary in Ventura to the Los Padres National Forest above Ojai.

Patrick Johnston from the National Parks Service (our hero from the recent Friends of the Ventura River NPS -Rivers and Trails Conservation Assistance grant and mastermind behind our fabulous foldout Ventura River Parkway Trail Guide –Thank you Patrick!) read a letter from his boss, US Interior Secretary Sally Jewell officially designating the trail as a National Recreation Trail.

“This is a really big deal” as Paul Jenkin states in the Anne Kallas article link below.  “We are now one of only about 1200 trails in the United States that are put on a list of designated travel spots. We’re really trying to shine a spotlight on the importance of this river and watershed. It is our water supply and our life blood.”

Over a hundred people attended the celebration event at VHC’s Big Rock Preserve including members of Girl Scout Troop 60718 who helped tidy up the area before the dedication event.  Their presence reminded all of the adults in attendance why we need to work so hard to preserve these natural areas and trails for future generations.

It was wonderful that US Congresswoman Julia Brownley, State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson, State Assembly-member Das Williams, Brian Brennan (from Supervisor Steve Bennett’s office–Steve was out of state), City Council Member Carl Morehouse, Director of County Parks Ron Van Dyke all took the podium to celebrate this achievement and the ongoing grass roots efforts that will help restore the Ventura River for the generations to come. (Among other things Carl mentioned the Westside Council efforts to reconnect to the river while Ron mentioned recent County/Ojai Valley Land Conservancy accomplishments eliminating a fish passage barrier in the Ventura River.)

It was delightful that as we all gathered to celebrate the Ventura River Parkway Trail being recognized as a National Recreation Trail that bikers and hikers actually enjoying the trail continued to pass through sometimes at just the perfect moment in a speech making me want to shout out “Cue the bikers!” as if it had all been orchestrated and planned. And maybe it was.  As Das Williams, delayed at a previous engagement jogs down the path just a VHC President David Comden is calling him to the podium by saying something clever to the effect of, “And now, the only speaker today who actually had to break sweat to get here…”

At one point in her talk Hannah-Beth stated that “it takes a village” to move projects like these along. And I would like to note that without help from these elected officials and public servants at critical junctures along the way, it would be difficult for the Friends of Ventura River coalition to have accomplished so much in such a relatively short time.  I say relatively short, but that might not be correct. In talking with Mark Capelli, the original “Friend of the Ventura River” (We couldn’t afford the “s” he quipped.) and listening to he and Kathy Bremer (who had worked at Patagonia when “Friends” first began and is now a City Parks and Recreation commissioner) reminisce about events 30 years ago, it hammered home to me that it indeed has been a long haul.

The quote by Margaret Mead springs to mind: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”  And, yet again, now with such a large FoVR coalition pitching in together to get the job(s) done I also think of the old adage “Many hands makes light work.”

During the dedication event REI awarded a generous $8000 grant to VHC to continue their river restoration work and Patrick Johnston brought and VHC installed the first National Recreation Trail logo marker to a sign marking the Big Rock Preserve. (Patrick also brought plaques for the City of Ventura and the County of Ventura the co-applicants in getting the Parkway Trail officially recognized as a National Recreational Trail.)

Also recognized during the ceremony were VHC, Mark Capelli (our original “Friend”) and the Friends of the Ventura River.  I had the honor of accepting the certificate for FoVR for all of the Friends who were there and those of you who were with us in spirit.  The June 7, 2014 Certificate of Recognition from the State of California Senate reads:

“Presented to the Friends of the Ventura River in recognition of your dedication and commitment to our community, and protecting our valuable natural resources; and upon receiving A National Recreational Trail Designation for the Ventura River Parkway.” Signed by Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson.

So congratulations FoVR, with a special shout out to our Ventura City Parks Department and Ventura County Parks Department and to our own Kathy Bremer for aiding the application through the process and to all of those elected officials and public servants and FoVR groups who wrote letters of support.  JOB WELL DONE!

So, it was, as Julia Brownley so aptly pointed out, “like every day in Ventura County, its a perfect day…” and everyone celebrated the NRT recognition and left with lifted spirits and incentive to expand and re-double our efforts to restore and enhance the Ventura River and its parkway trail.  The NRT recognition will help all of our FoVR groups in their efforts on behalf of the river, its ecosystems and the parkway.

Thanks everyone for staying involved!


To read Anne Kallas’ great article in Sunday’s VC Star “On the path to restoring river” covering the NRT event:—trail_day/



Ventura River Parkway Designated as a National Recreation Trail

Ventura Hillsides Conservancy to host NATIONAL TRAILS DAY® celebration along the Ventura River Parkway Trail Saturday, June 7 – 11am – 2pm

The Ventura Hillsides Conservancy and Friends of the Ventura River will be celebrating National Trails Day® on Saturday, June 7 from 11AM-2PM at the Conservancy’s Big Rock Preserve just south of Foster Park along the Ventura River Parkway Trail bike path.  American Hiking Society’s National Trails Day® is a nationally recognized trail awareness program that occurs annually on the first Saturday of June and inspires the public to discover, learn about, and celebrate trails while participating in outdoor activities, clinics, and trail stewardship projects. National Trails Day® is a registered trademark of American Hiking Society.

The Ventura River Parkway Trail (Ventura River Trail and Ojai Valley Trail) is being recognized as a National Recreation Trail by the National Park Service. The National Recreation Trails program works to preserve and celebrate our nation’s pathways.  Over 1,200 trails in all 50 states, available for public use, ranging from less than a mile to 485 miles in length, have been designated as NRTs on federal, state, municipal, and privately owned lands.

Volunteers will be working on trail clearing and sign installation from 11AM to 12PM.  A trail dedication ceremony and REI grant award presentation is planned for 12PM followed by guided tours of the property and a raffle.  The Conservancy’s preserve offers trail users access to the Ventura River and the Big Rock swimming hole.  The event is free and open to the public.


Ocean Friendly Gardens Event on February 1, 2014

Ocean Friendly Gardens (OFG) Event held Saturday, February 1, 10am-Noon.  Patagonia Firehouse.

Community Garden at Westpark

Ventura County Surfrider’s Ocean Friendly Gardens, The Westside Ventura Community Council, Restore Ventura, Friends of the Ventura River, and Patagonia joined forces for the Westside Garden Walk/Lawn Patrol!

Keynote speaker Paul Jenkin presented issues and solutions with respect to the Ventura River and Santa Clara watersheds.  Following the presentation the assembled group toured the Patagonia grounds and learned about some of the water harvesting solutions Patagonia has implemented.  Following this, the group walked up Olive St. and the bike path to see Ocean Friendly Gardens in action in the community.  Julian DeAnda at the City of Ventura supplied details of a swale project which will be implemented at Westpark.  The group saw a number of examples of positive change.
The tour ended at the home of the Gallegos family, where we shared an impromptu salad picked from local gardens.
Ocean Friendly Gardens prevent runoff by investing rainwater in “sponge gardens”, and using that water to grow native plants and food.  Find out more!

Stay tuned for more OFG events in the future!

January 14, 2014 Friends Meeting Agenda



Tuesday January 14, 2014


from 4:30-6:30



  1. Brian Segee of Evironmental Defense Center (EDC) to discuss EDC and watershed protection.
  2. Discussion on the current drought conditions in the Ventura River Watershed
  3. Discussion of FOVR near to mid-term goals as included in the Watershed Management Plan and next steps: Ventura River Parkway – Parkway Sign Design. Develop a framework for interpretive and way finding signage along the Parkway that reflects both local jurisdiction and the regional nature of the Parkway. Ventura River Parkway – Acquisition and Restoration.  Identify further opportunities for acquisition of Parkway lands. Continue to prioritize restoration efforts along the Parkway. Ventura River Parkway – Community Education. Refine and expand community outreach and education. Emphasize K-12 education and Spanish language programs. Identify appropriate education and outreach partnerships for the Parkway.
  4. Organize work group to work on Parkway signage, design, content, placement and permitting.
  5. Discuss Ocean Friendly Gardens (OFG) concepts & Westside OFG Tour for Feb. 1, 2014.
  6. Ventura River Trail Guide– has been updated to include map of downtown Ojai in next print run.
  7. Spanish language translation Ventura River Trail Guide –The Westside Heal Zone has granted $1000 toward printing of the Spanish language map with FOVR funds making up the print run difference.
  8. Update on Ventura Watershed Council re: public outreach to Spanish-speaking community. (One of Ventura Watershed Council’s grant deliverables is to hold an outreach meeting on our watershed management plan process with our Spanish-speaking residents.)
  9. Update on following grant applications:
  • National Recreational Trails application
  • SCC climate change grant application.
  • Least Bell’s Vireo restoration in Ventura River habitat for 2014.

Updates from other FoVR groups.

If any individual or group would like to make comments on the scope of the SB4 required EIR on hydraulic fracturing, acidization or other well stimulation methods they must be submitted by Jan 16, 2014 to the DOGGR commission at:

Other business or announcements

Adjournment no later than 6:30 Thank you everyone for staying involved!

A river — again — in Los Angeles

By Lewis MacAdams

October 27, 2013

In the late 1930s, in response to a pair of deadly floods, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors called in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to control the unruly Los Angeles River, which had, over millenniums, shifted its course innumerable times on its way to the sea.

Taming L.A.’s river was the Army Corps’ first major flood control project, and its mission was to get the water to the ocean as fast as possible. The idea that it might make sense, in a city that gets less than 15 inches of rain a year on average, to conserve some of those hundreds of millions of gallons of freshwater seems to have never occurred to the corps.

It took many years, thousands of workers and some 3 million barrels of concrete to bring the river to heel. By some measures, the project was a triumph: Floodwaters have not topped the river levees since. But it was also an ecological disaster.

Within a very few years, important native species were largely gone. Yellow-billed cuckoos and least Bell’s vireo no longer sang in the watershed. Red-legged frogs, which hibernated by burrowing into the river bottom’s mud, couldn’t penetrate the concrete. The river had once claimed the southernmost steelhead trout run, but the last steelhead was caught off a bridge in Glendale in 1940, two years after that section of the river was paved.

All but 11 of the river’s 52 miles ended up encased in concrete. The river’s only stretch of natural bottom was through the Glendale Narrows, where the river turns south and runs past Griffith Park and Atwater. The Army Corps concluded that the water table there was too close to the surface and might eventually undermine the concrete.

For half a century after the work was finished, the river was little more than a concrete scar, separated from the city by chain-link fences topped with razor wire and signs warning visitors to keep out or face fines and/or jail. On maps the river was labeled a flood control channel, and its only regular visitors were the County Mosquito Abatement District and location scouts seeking backdrops for noirish tales.

In the winter of 1986, Roger Wong, Pat Patterson and I, fortified by coffee and brandy, borrowed some wire cutters, snipped the fence that separated the river from the city and declared the river open. We then walked to the confluence of the Los Angeles and the Arroyo Seco, just north of downtown, and asked the river if we could speak for it in the human realm. We didn’t hear it say no, and Friends of the Los Angeles River was born.

FoLAR began life as a performance piece in a basement theater on skid row. We called it a “40-year artwork to bring the river back to life.” I donned a white suit and painted myself green as if I were the ghost of William Mulholland. Patterson built an immense, ungainly totem from junk we found in the river.

A reviewer for this newspaper was unimpressed. “With friends like MacAdams,” he snorted, “the river needs no enemies.”

In the mid-1980s, a lawsuit by Heal the Bay forced Los Angeles to build a water reclamation plant that would ultimately send millions of gallons a year of tertiary-treated, reclaimed water through the Glendale Narrows. For the first time since the last Ice Age, the Los Angeles was a year-round river. Willows and sycamore trees began to reappear. But not everyone saw the change as cause for celebration.

In preparation for a predicted El Niño, the county and the Army Corps decided to bulldoze everything growing in the river’s natural bottom. Making a stand in front of the machines to try and stop them, I nearly got myself killed. But the action got FoLAR its first meeting with the head of the L.A. County Department of Public Works. Every time he said the words “flood control channel,” I interrupted him and said “river.” We almost came to blows. I walked out feeling like I needed an anger management class, but I had planted the linguistic seeds. Today nearly everybody calls it a river.

In the late 1990s, FoLAR sued the Army Corps and L.A. County to stop a massive flood control project on the lower Los Angeles River to raise walls on top of flood control levees for 23 miles. We lost the battle, but the settlement forced the county to create the first L.A. River Master Plan. The city of L.A. created its own, much more ambitious Revitalization Master Plan a few years later.

In the years since, more and more Angelenos have discovered the river. FoLAR’s annual Gran Limpieza, the Great Los Angeles River Cleanup, has grown from 10 people to several thousand. Two former railroad yards along the river are now state parks. The Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy and the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority have created half a dozen riverfront pocket parks, and a bike path continues to grow. In 2010, Environmental Protection Agency chief Lisa Jackson stood on the bank of Compton Creek, an L.A. River tributary, and declared the Los Angeles a “traditionally navigable waterway”

Every one of these victories was the result of patience, willpower and perseverance. Yet none of them opened up the channel itself. In 2010 it was still a crime to stick your toe in the river. Then, this fall, after seven years of work and almost $10 million (the last million a gift from one of Friends of the Los Angeles River’s most generous donors) the Army Corps released its Los Angeles River Ecosystem Feasibility Study, which proposed a range of alternatives for the river’s future.

It was a stunning development. FoLAR could now work hand in hand with the Army Corps to restore miles of habitat, to eliminate miles of concrete, to restore wetlands and to reconnect the main stem of the river to the Verdugos and the San Gabriel Mountains. There are still battles to be fought, including which of two alternative plans will ultimately be embraced, but we are on the way to a far more vibrant river for the city.

On Sunday, I’ll join Mayor Eric Garcetti and a dozen others on a lobbying trip to Washington pushing for the plan, known as Alternative 20, that would best serve the river. For me, the trip will be more than a cross-country flyover. It will be a chance to look back on a lifetime of poetry and politics, on 27 years of working on the Los Angeles River. It has been a journey from confrontation to cooperation, and it has created a wider and deeper community not just of humans but of flying, swimming and four-legged creatures as well.

Lewis MacAdams is president of Friends of the Los Angeles River. His poetry collection, “Dear Oxygen,” was published last year.

Copyright © 2013, Los Angeles Times



September 30, 2013 Friends Meeting Agenda


MONDAY Sept. 30, 2013


from 4:30-6:30



The meeting will take place on the 2nd floor of Patagonia’s Firehouse building, in the Grand Room. The Firehouse is the tall building closest to Main St, address: 280 W. Main St.

Enter Patagonia’s campus from Main St. and park anywhere in our lots (the lot at the corner of Main and Olive is most likely to have space available — all parking lots will remain unlocked until after this meeting is over). Enter the Firehouse on the south side of the building (furthest from Main St.)- we will have someone at the door directing you upstairs.


For Late Arrivals:

There will be someone at the door until 4:45pm, if you arrive after that call to be let in.

(If you think you will may be late, bring phone & call Kathy Bremer: 805 901-6415 & she can run down and let you in.)



Round the room introductions (with brief 1 to 2 minute updates to group if you have them).

(We have a full agenda so the updates have to be kept brief.)

Although this meeting is our National Parks Service Rivers and Trails Conservation Assistance grant wrap-up meeting we are going to make some “timely” detours before we get to the “main event.”

  • Presentation on the current dry conditions in the Ventura River Watershed (created by Lorraine Walter Vta River Watershed Council) presented by Ben Pitterle of SBCK aided by Brian Stark OVLC.


  • Sample short video from Ventura Water’s Take One online film contest called “A Watershed Fairytale.” The Water: Take 1 challenges how we look at, use, and share water. Watch films at & vote for your favorite by October 3.


  • “A Big Day” overview of the Ventura River Parkway progress filmed by CAPS-TV, demonstrating community support for the Ventura River Parkway.


  • Patrick Johnston with NPS RTCA program discuss progress FoVR work group made during 2 year grant program. 
Ventura River Trail Guide (Can be updated as the parkway evolves.  And Spanish language translation Ventura River Trail Guide status.
  • Trail connectivity document (Paul may have draft document to pass around– document helps in multi-jurisdictional parkway to coordinate projects.)


  • Certificates of Recognition from State Senate to FOVR Work Group (KK Holland representative for State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson). Huge FoVR thank you to Patrick for sharing his talents and Cynthia Hartley for her amazing GIS mapping skills and Miguel Rodriguez for helping with the Spanish translation of the Ventura River Trail guide and thanks to Paul, Derek, Lee, Greg, Brian, Ed, Ben, Kathy for their unfailing devotion to making the Ventura River Parkway a great environmental and recreational asset.)


  • Brian Segee of EDC discuss SBCK/EDC suit against Ojai quarry.


  • Kathy Bremer, Ed Wehan, Derek Poultney will discuss National Recreational Trails application for recognition & how it could help Ventura River Parkway in the future.


  • Derek Poultney and Paul Jenkin discuss SCC climate change grant application.


  • Lauren Cole with Vta Watershed Council re: public out reach to Spanish-speaking community. One of Ventura Watershed Council’s grant deliverables is to hold an outreach meeting on our watershed management plan process with our Spanish-speaking residents.  Lauren hopes to make good connections here to help get input from this segment of community. (10 min.)


  • Kurt Lieber of Ocean Defense Alliance (ODA) works in collaboration with NOAA and CA DF&W to clean up abandoned fishing gear and other garbage from ocean bottom. Talk about damage ghost gear causes.  Looking for volunteers to help in local efforts (either on boats or diving) to clean up in and around Anacapa and Santa Cruz Islands. (10 min.)


Other business or announcements

Adjournment no later than 6:45 Thank you everyone for staying involved!