News and Events

Matilija Dam in the News

Silt Woes Continue To Plague Matilija Dam
Aug 11, 2011: The Ojai Valley News

This past November a work group convened to find and develop solutions for managing the fine sediment and to produce a report on their findings. That report, now complete in draft form and in its final editing stages will be central to discussions that take place when the Design Oversight Group meets again on Sept. 14. According to Paul Jenkin of the Matilija Coalition, the main gist of the report is that Ventura County Public Works has agreed to look at notching the dam down to the silt line in an effort independent of the Army Corps of Engineers, and at the same time look at bringing in outside expertise on how to best move the fine sediment that continues to slowly build up behind the dam.
“This is a pretty big deal, and we could see some real progress toward actually removing the dam,” Jenkin said.

More on Matilija Dam:

Fracking in Ventura County

According to the Environmental Defense Center, Occidental Petroleum Company has disclosed its fracking of two oil wells this spring, one in Kern County and one in Ventura County. The Ventura frack job was conducted within the Rincon oil field on May 27 at a depth of 8,474 feet and required 361,620 gallons of water. The inland Rincon field is located between the cities of Ventura and Carpinteria, and is situated within steep coastal hills that drain straight into the ocean. Occidental, also known as “Oxy,” and its subsidiary Vintage Production California LLC are the primary operators within the Rincon field. In March of this year, an oil spill from the Rincon field occurred after a landslide ruptured a pipeline, releasing approximately 210 gallons of oil on the beach between Hobson and Faria County Parks.

In addition to water, the hydraulic fracturing fluid ingredients listed in Occidental’s disclosure form include methanol, phenol formaldehyde resin, hydrochloric acid, xylene, naphthalene, and several other ingredients. Occidental voluntarily disclosed its fracking operations through the chemical disclosure registry website Occidental’s disclosures are the first in California to be made through Frac Focus; no other disclosures have been made in the state to date.

Venoco, Inc., the company responsible for fracking two oil wells near the town of Los Alamos in northern Santa Barbara County this spring, and which plans to invest approximately $100 million towards exploring the Monterey Shale formation this year, is not among the companies participating in disclosure through the fracfocus website.

The increasing prevalence of fracking for oil within California is the subject of a front page SF Chronicle story :


Ventura’s Water Efficiency Plan
Wednesday, August 17 at 6 pm in the Community Meeting Room at City Hall
All Ventura Water customers and interested parties are invited to participate in a community meeting to offer us feedback on a draft Water Efficiency Plan. The workshop will be held on Wednesday, August 17 at 6 pm in the Community Meeting Room at City Hall and will consist of an overview presentation followed by a discussion session. Ventura’s Water Efficiency Plan is the action program resulting from requirements in the recently adopted Urban Water Management Plan and the first version will be posted on this page by August 15 for public review. If you have any questions, please email Karen Waln at

Sespe Flyfishers Meeting
Wed Aug 17, 7 pm
Paul Jenkin will present the latest developments on the Matilija Dam Ecosystem Restoration Project

Santa Clara River Estuary Stakeholder meeting
Thursday, August 18, 2011 starting at 10:00 am in the General Assembly Room at the Ventura Water Reclamation Facility located at 1400 Spinnaker Drive, Ventura. The focus of the workshop will be to discuss comments received to the most recent synthesis report, and next steps.

More info:

Ojai Valley Green Coalition Watershed Council
Thur, August 18, 2011 at 5:15 pm at the new resource center 327 Ojai Ave, next to Ojai Pizza.

Ventura River Watershed Council Meeting
Tuesday, August 23rd at 9:00 a.m.
The meeting will include an update on the Algae TMDL and a kick-off discussion about the preparation of the final report for V-1 – The Ventura River Watershed Protection Plan.

Workshop on historic ecology of Ventura County
Thursday September 8 – 1:00 to 4:30 pm
County Govt Center, Lower Plaza Assembly Room – lower level of the Administration Building

The Coastal Conservancy will sponsor a workshop on the historic ecology of Ventura County and the ecology, hydrogeomorphology, and river parkway program of the Santa Clara River.

Although the focus of the workshop will be on the Santa Clara River, presentations about the historical ecology study will include portions of the Ventura River and Calleguas Creek, as well as the coastal wetlands in the County covered in the new Conservancy study, “Historical Wetlands of the Southern California Coast.”

Ventura Chapter to host Surfrider California Conference.
Aug 26-28 – Crowne Plaza hotel—over looking Surfer’s Point
For more information contact Vince at

Ventura Hillsides Music Festival
Arroyo Verde Park, Sunday, September 25, 2011
For the ninth year, the Ventura Hillsides Conservancy will present the annual Ventura Hillsides Music Festival in Arroyo Verde Park, Sunday, September 25, 2011. Three stellar musical performers will anchor the bill: Texas R & B from the Fabulous Thunderbirds, sweet southern gospel and soul from the Blind Boys of Alabama and an eclectic tour of world music with multi-instrumentalist and frequent Jackson Browne cohort,David Lindley. Additional special guests will be announced at a later date.
more info:

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