October 24, 2014

RCDSMM Highlights of 2013

 

In this era of decreasing public funding for land management and conservation, the Resource Conservation District of the Santa Monica Mountains (RCDSMM) is uniquely chartered to work effectively for sustainable land use practices that benefit both private and public stewards. It has no regulatory authority, so it can achieve conservation outcomes only through consensus. It is an organization that works hard to gain and maintain the trust of the landowners of the Santa Monica Mountains, and to understand their goals while representing the public’s interest in conserving resources for future generations. These efforts continue to yield positive outcomes. In 2013, the RCDSMM:

• Led 800 volunteers in planting and weeding at the Lower Topanga Creek restoration site with more than 200 students participating in the removal of invasive crayfish from steelhead trout habitat.

• Provided field study programs for more than 100 advanced placement high school students.

• Provided programs for 100 third graders and internships in Fisheries Science to four high school interns with the California Science Center.

• Contracted with Los Angeles County to conduct studies of, and suggest solutions to, water quality problems at Topanga Beach.

• Continued more than a decade of work as a local leader in research, monitoring and protection of our most unique and fragile local species, including the southern steelhead trout, southwestern pond turtles, tidewater gobies, California newts and other amphibians.

• Presented papers in Fisheries Biology, with Sr. Conservation Biologist Rosi Dagit appearing in California Trout’s film, "Southern California Steelhead: Against All Odds."

• Wrote articles for local newspapers to keep the district informed of restoration efforts.

• Assisted the Aquarium of the Pacific in the creation of a Southern Steelhead Trout exhibit.

• Provided “Keep your Green” consultations to help landowners save water, energy and money.

• Developed guideline documents for the L.A. County Oak Woodlands Conservation Plan

• Worked collaboratively with agencies and local landowner to fund a feasibility study for restoration of Trancas Lagoon.

• The Conservation Planning and Design team designed and implemented the Interpretive Landscape of the Malibu Lagoon Restoration

• Project with partners California State Parks, Coastal Conservancy, Water Board, Wildlife Conservation Board, Los Angeles County, Santa Monica Bay Restoration Foundation, Los Angeles Waterkeeper and Heal the Bay.

With support from a local landowner and the Santa Susana Mountain Parks Association, completed a Conceptual Area Protection Plan, making the properties within our most critical habitat linkage eligible for conservation easement and purchase funding through the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.