UC Santa Barbara is working with our funding partners, the State Coastal Conservancy and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, to plan for the restoration of the former Ocean Meadows golf course to its natural state. Additional funding for the restoration has been secured from our partners, the California Natural Resources Agency and the Department of Water Resources, through their granting programs (Urban Greening and Urban Streams, respectively), and from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife for Greenhouse Gas Sequestration using Cap and Trade funds. The Trust for Public Land purchased 64 acres of the now-closed Goleta course with $7 million of grant funding from several federal, state, and local agencies. The organization subsequently gifted the property to The Regents of the University of California, which will serve as the long-term steward of the open space.
This project provides our community with access to an expanse of coastal open space that extends 2.25 miles along the Ellwood-Devereux coast. Acquisition of the property connects several existing preserved properties, including UCSB’s South Parcel, Coal Oil Point Reserve, as well as the City of Goleta’s Sperling Preserve at Ellwood Mesa.
The site will ultimately feature natural open space, trails, and boardwalks for public access and passive recreation. It will also be used for teaching, research, and community outreach. Restoration and preservation of wetlands and other habitat along Devereux Creek will also be a primary focus for the property. UCSB’s Cheadle Center for Biodiversity and Ecological Restoration (CCBER) has been involved in preliminary research that will be used in the preparation of a restoration plan for the land, to provide guidance in such things as local plants, soil types, and habitat creation.
The consulting firm, ESA, has been contracted to assist with the final design and alternatives study in conjunction with a broad committee of UCSB representatives and a public meeting will be scheduled in early summer 2015 to incorporate the community in the planning process for the restoration portion of the project. Results from the community based planning process conducted in 2013-14 with the Trust for Public Land related to the public access components are reflected in the attached conceptual plan. The overall values that came from that process were that people wanted a naturalistic, simple public access program that supports wildlife viewing opportunities.
For more information, please see: UCSB Press Release
The Trust for Public Land has additional information about the property acquisition available here
Other Ellwood-Devereux planning documents are available here