Ecological Restoration of Coastal Wetlands of Santa Barbara Area

Essay by jimmorrison1420College, Undergraduate March 2004

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Title: Ecological Restoration of the Campus Lagoon


The harmed ecosystem of the Campus Lagoon at the University of California, Santa Barbara is undergoing restoration by teams of ecologists and scientists. The lagoon itself is plagued by high nutrient levels and an overgrown algae population. Tidal canals and increased circulation is necessary to continuously recycle the water from the ocean to the lagoon. Introduced exotics decrease biodiversity. Public accessibility must also be assessed and perhaps cutoff due to further pollution and potential environmental disturbances. The goal of this ecological restoration project is to create an ecosystem with greater biodiversity and improve upon the water quality of the lagoon.

1.0 Introduction

1.1- The ecological restoration of the University of California at Santa Barbara Campus Lagoon and surrounding area is a topic of great concern and continuing effort by university staff, scientists, and students alike. Over the past few decades the ecosystem within and around the lagoon has suffered.

Whether focusing on human-introduced exotic species, natural imbalances of elements, or complications in water management, it is obvious that the lagoon and surrounding environment suffers from conditions that are less than suitable to sustain and support this unique ecosystem. This site is now under the control of educated scientists and environmental enthusiasts in attempts to improve the current condition.

The introduction of various exotic species to the Lagoon has proved detrimental to the native wildlife and led to a more urgent need for restoration. Two examples of exotics which were introduced are the eucalyptus tree and ice plant. Both of these species are very invasive in nature and make it hard for other species to coexist. Both shoot out very heavy roots in all directions which rob the landscape of its water. Underneath the sprawling branches of the eucalyptus there is very little...