This week we held a second great meeting on the developing River Project. Lynn R. from the Watershed Coalition of Ventura County was our guest partner and Mike Vollmert, our Director of Technology and fellow science and learning enthusiast were in attendance. Once again, I learned alot and it was a great and connected conversation.
The Watershed Coalition of Ventura County (WCVC) developed in 2002 and then grew again in 2006 and they connect people working on the Santa Clara, Ventura, and Calleguas watersheds.
Prop 50 and later prop 84 provided tax payer monies to work on our local water systems. The work is an Integrated Regional Water Management (IRWM) and they plan and do projects that affect: environment, recreation, flood protection, water supply, and water management.
We talked about a project, the natural flood plains project and also Army Core of Engineers work on feasibility studies.
I learned about two BIG ISSUES people are working on; Salt in the water and Invasive species of plants.
I learned that the Nature Conservancy has funded projects, as well as UCSB folks from the Marine Science institute to try to remove invasive plants such as arundo donax, a reed/plant from Spain that made its way here and has the habit of choking out other native plants and drinking too much water.
Mike Vollmert updated Lynn and I on a Rio project we have partnering with the US Fish and Wildlife group to restore some areas of our campuses to native plants. I look forward to that project moving forward.
I also learned that our local group was honored by the local American Public works chapter for its environmental projects. I learned that we have a great history of coming together here to solve problems and to see each others perspectives in order to find solutions that work for everyone and the community.
I learned that or farmers in the area are voluntarily studying the salt in the water problem and that they have a long history of being good citizens of our community.
I look forward to starting some river walks and river talks and getting students and teachers engaged in learning about and from the river and all the many established networks of citizens and organizations that are deeply connected to the Santa Clara watershed…
I know that there is much more that I don’t know about the River than what I do know and I would guess this is true for many people so I hope the River Project can be a contribution our local schools make to not only educating our youth but also educating our community.