River Trail Mural video

Hopefully by now most of you have had the opportunity to see the mural along the Ventura River Trail.  It was organized by the Ventura Hillsides Conservancy and designed by students from De Anza Academy of Technology and the Arts after field trips to our properties below Foster Park.  Local artist MB Hanrahan distilled all of the students ideas into a beautiful mural for the retaining wall which the whole group painted in November.  The funding was provided by a grant from the Sempra Energy Foundation.




Ventura River: A Special Place

I have so many great feelings growing up along the Ventura River, skinny dipping on a warm summer day in the Shell swimming hole (west of Shell Road), fishing for steelhead trout in the upper reaches of the river.  Wildflower viewing in the grassy meadows below the Oak View segment of the river. Birdwatching at the Ventura River Estuary (where the river meets the Pacific Ocean) I still get an overwhelming feeling when I stand on the hill just above the newly acquired Steelhead Preserve (the former Hollingsworth Ranch) and take in the view of the Ventura River watershed, all the way up to Pine Mountain in the highcountry.  The Ventura River offers a great natural experience, yet so close to urban creas such as the Ojai Valley communities and the City of Ventura..    Lets work together to preserve and enjoy this wonderful place.  Jim Hines

Watershed News 9-2-2011

California Chapter Conference – Ventura 2011

Over 100 Surfrider activists from around the state converged in Ventura for the 2011 California Statewide Chapter Conference at the Crowne Plaza in Ventura, California.  The Ventura County Chapter was proud to host the conference, which provided  invaluable opportunity to network with other chapters from around the state and celebrate  the Ventura Chapter’s 20th Anniversary.

Next steps for Ventura Wastewater?

The City of Ventura has been wrestling with it’s wastewater discharge for the past two decades.  Increased regulatory scrutiny and pressure from environmental groups resulted in the “Santa Clara River Estuary Special Studies” process, which began in 2009.  These studies have been focused on determining whether or not the volume and quality of wastewater is beneficial to the Santa Clara River Estuary. 

This month the City announced a settlement with Wishtoyo/Ventura CoastKeeper and Heal the Bay, which alters the discussion.  According the the VCStar‘Ventura officials announced Wednesday a settlement agreement to spend up to $55 million to redirect and possibly reuse millions of gallons of heavily treated sewage water that currently flows into the Santa Clara River from a city treatment facility. Ventura ratepayers will be responsible for covering most of the expense.’

This is a great time for Ventura to Know Your H2O, before the opportunity for truly integrated water management is lost.

Friends of the Ventura River

A coalition of organizations is organizing as the “Friends of the Ventura River.”   The primary mission is to promote the Ventura River Parkway project to provide a proactive means to protect and restore the Ventura River Watershed.  With support from Patagonia, the coalition is building a website that will provide a single resource for all things Ventura River.
This will ultimately include an online library of relevant documents, as well as space for watershed partners to post information and events.  We hope that all individuals and organizations within our watershed see this as an opportunity to better coordinate our efforts.

We are in the process of shifting this occasional news e-mail over to the Friends of the Ventura River listserver, so watch for an e-mail coming soon.  In the meantime, we invite you to visit the website and sign up at friendsofventurariver.org.  Please contact Paul (pjenkin@surfrider.org) or Diane (dunderhill@sbcglobal.net) to find out how you or your organization can get involved!

McGrath State Beach to remain open at least 2 more months


McGrath State Beach has won a reprieve to remain open for at least two months beyond the expected Sept. 6 closure date, California State Parks Channel Coast District Superintendent Richard Rozzelle said Tuesday. 

The parks that gets the most votes at http://www.livepositively.com will win $100,000 for first, $50,000 for second and $25,000 for third place. McGrath is in sixth place in the contest that ends Tuesday.


Students clean up Ventura River bottom

This semi-annual event helps the City of Ventura comply with the Clean Water Act – the Ventura River estuary has been listed by the EPA as ‘impaired’ by trash, as well as other problems.

“We are responsible for this,” City Manager Rick Cole said, as helped paint over graffiti on the Main Street bridge. “We get fined for dirty runoff from this river. There’s no question this is a valuable community service.”