EDC’S WORK ON THE SANTA YNEZ RIVER
The Santa Ynez River once supported a thriving steelhead population. Construction and operation of three dams, including Bradbury Dam – erected by the 1950s to supply water to Santa Barbara County’s towns and farms – has decimated the Santa Ynez River steelhead. These dams have cut off steelhead access to the ocean, access to historic spawning and rearing habitat, and have drastically altered and reduced water flow throughout the watershed.
To help turn this situation around, EDC is representing California Trout in proceedings before the State Water Resources Control Board. We have asked the Water Board to modify the water release schedule from Bradbury Dam into the lower Santa Ynez River to improve conditions for steelhead downstream from the dam. We have also asked the Water Board to facilitate steelhead passage around Bradbury Dam. Passage is necessary so that fish above the Dam can reach the ocean and fish below the Dam can reach the best spawning and rearing habitat available in the river.
The California Department of Fish and Game and the National Marine Fisheries Service are also participating in the Water Board process to support the restoration of steelhead in the Santa Ynez River. Read in-depth news coverage here about these historic proceedings.
EDC is poised to respond to the still pending final decision from the Water Board, and we continue to monitor the status of steelhead in the Santa Ynez River. Click here to keep an eye on the State Water Resources Control Board proceedings and to see EDC’s and other parties’ submissions.
Conserve Water – Save Steelhead
©2011 Environmental Defense Center · 906 Garden Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Phone: 805-963-1622 | Fax: 805-962-3152