- Author: Chris M. Webb
The RESTOR Project - Research for Students and Teachers about the Ormond Beach Wetland Restoration Project - will begin this year in October (exact date to be announced shortly). We are looking for a few more interested 6-8th grade science teachers to participate. Teachers serving primarily multicultural populations have first priority. The project is fully funded by the National Marine Sanctuary BWET Program and will include:
*Teacher workshops with classroom and field instruction by a variety of local experts about the Ormond Beach Wetland Restoration, watersheds and water quality
*Standards-based curricula from the California Coastal Commission and National Marine Sanctuary
*A classroom visit and water quality instruction by a Channelkeeper scientist
*A fully funded field trip to Ormond Beach with water quality monitoring and wetland restoration activities
*A fully funded field trip to Anacapa Island
This project is in partnership with Cathy Reznicek at the Ventura County Office of Education, Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary, Santa Barbara Channelkeeper, Nature Conservancy and the Ormond Point Native Plant Nursery.
Interested teachers, please contact Valerie Borel, RESTOR Project Program Representative, as soon as possible: email: firstname.lastname@example.org, phone: 323-260-3851.
- Author: Chris M. Webb
Monique Myers, Ventura County UCCE’s Costal Community Development Advisor has some great information to help us conserve water and reduce the flow of pollutants all at the same time!
Myers writes this on our website, “Water is a valuable resource in Southern California. It is important that we capture rainwater and allow it to soak into the ground where it can water plants and replenish groundwater supplies. Rain that falls on hard surfaces, such as buildings and asphalt, picks up pollutants as it flows. This 'stormwater' is then directed to storm drains and ultimately ends up polluting our streams and oceans."
Individuals can help conserve water and prevent polluted stormwater runoff through wise gardening and land-use practices. Our website provides some useful tips for Southern California residents.
Some of the suggestions are for large projects, and while you might not be in a position to tackle those changes now, the information may be useful to you in the future or may be of benefit for a friend or neighbor. Many of the other ideas, such as composting and natural planting, can be incorporated easily as time and resources allow.
Please follow this link http://www-csgc.ucsd.edu/BOOKSTORE/greensheets.html to see them.
- Author: Chris M. Webb
To protect water resources and comply with increasing regulation, greenhouse managers are wise to make changes to prevent pollutants, such as fertilizers, pesticides, and container media from ending up in surface and ground waters. One way to do this is to use vegetated buffers.
Vegetated buffers are areas or strips of land maintained in permanent vegetation to prevent erosion and improve water quality by trapping and treating contaminants. Vegetative buffers can also provide many other benefits such as increasing beneficial insects for biological control of crop pests and protecting streambanks. In addition, they can be used for green waste and secondary crop production.
Some examples include vegetated buffers are bioswales, vegetated filter strips, and constructed wetlands.
- A vegetated bioswale is a stormwater conveyance system that channels stormwater. This type of buffer system improves water quality by reducing flow velocity and increasing sedimentation, filtering pollutants, and allowing infiltration into the underlying soils.
- A filter strip is a band of vegetation that can be used between a greenhouse and a waterbody. The purpose of the filter strip is to slow runoff from the production area and trap sediment, fertilizers, and pesticides before they reach surface water.
- A constructed wetland is an artificial marsh or swamp for treating wastewater, controlling flood waters, and reducing erosion. In greenhouse production, they can be built to further remove pollutants in the effluent from a retention basin.
Although there are different types of vegetative buffer systems, most work in a similar manner. Runoff containing soluble nutrients and pesticides, and sediments with adsorbed pesticides, enters the buffer. Vegetation in the buffer slow surface flow and sediments drop out. Some water infiltrates into the root zone and subsoil, while the remainder becomes lateral subsurface flow. When the roots of buffer plants grow to sufficient depth, they intercept infiltrated water, taking up the soluble nutrients and pesticides. Pesticides adsorbed to soil particles become trapped in the root zone, and high soil organic matter provides conditions for denitrification and pesticide degradation.
Things to consider before constructing a vegetative buffer.
When planning and designing a vegetative buffer, it is best to consult a licensed engineer or the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). Buffers need to be designed and constructed to comply with all federal, state, and local laws and regulations.
Plant species that are used in buffers should be selected based on their adaptability and tolerance to site conditions. Check local information sources, such as the NRCS and Cooperative Extension, before making selections. Some points to consider are: cost, growth rate, potential of plant invasiveness if not using native plant species, and the ability to use the buffers for producing secondary crops. Growers who are interested in developing techniques to produce secondary crops in vegetative treatment systems should contact Cooperative Extension and the NRCS for guidance.
Planting should be timed so buffers are established prior to expected runoff. Maintenance of vegetative buffers is necessary to sustain buffer function and effectiveness.
The information above was extracted from a larger document, written by Ventura County Cooperative Extension Farm Advisor, Julie Newman. Please contact us if you would like to read the original document in its entirety.
- Author: Chris M. Webb
Ventura County University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) is here to extend science-based research to people in our community. We do this in a variety of ways, one of which is newsletters.
Landscape Notes is written for people working in the commercial landscape industry. The last issue is all about establishing landscape trees. It is full of fabulous, practical information that will help establish healthy trees.
Clover Lines is a newsletter published for 4-H members and leaders in Ventura County. It contains events, activities, and opportunities for youth aged 5-19.
Topics in Subtropics is a combined effort by University of California Cooperative Extension Farm Advisors from many counties in the state. It emphasizes citrus and avocado, but also discusses the minor subtropicals. The last issue covered:
- Avocado Research in Ventura County
- Laurel Wilt Disease Conference and Tour in Florida and Georgia
- Managing Insecticide Resistance will be Key to the Future of Effective Citrus Pest Management
- Smart Sprayers Make Sense
Farm Water Quality News delivers the latest news on integrating environmental quality with crop production practices. The last issue covered:
- Regulatory Update
- Industry Update
- Technical Tips
- Research Update
UC Cooperative Extension Report is our department newsletter. This newsletter includes upcoming events, highlight summaries of research and outreach activities, interesting facts and more.
Santa Clara River Watershed Times covers topics vital to anyone who lives, works, and recreates in the Santa Clara River watershed, the largest river system in Southern California. An amazing amount of information is extended in this newsletter covering a wide range of issues, opportunities, regulations, and accomplishments in an easy to read format with great photos. Links for more information are scattered throughout.
Our newsletters can be found by clicking this link. Once there, you can read current and back issues. You can also sign up for email notification to let you know when a new issue has been posted.
- Author: Chris M. Webb
Dr. Sabrina Drill, of the University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE), is a Natural Resources Advisor covering both Los Angeles and Ventura Counties. One of the issues she is currently studying is the New Zealand mudsnail (NZMS), Potamopyrgus antipodarum.
NZMS is an aquatic invasive species that was first found in the United States in Idaho in 1987. It has since spread to every Western state except New Mexico. They were found in California’s Owens River in the late 1990’s. In 2006 it was found in the Santa Clara Watershed, which straddles the two counties Dr. Drill covers in her UCCE work.
New Zealand mudsnails are tiny, with adults only reaching 3-5 mm and juveniles even smaller, about the size of a grain of sand. They are usually light to dark brown, and may appear black when wet. They have conical shells that have five or sometimes six whorls.
New Zealand mudsnails reproduce clonally and bear live young. A single female and her offspring are capable of yielding 40 million individuals in a year! As is typical with invasive species, they compete with native invertebrates for food and habitat, and as they provide little in the way of food value, may have detrimental effects on fish and wildlife. They have a wide ranging temperature and salinity tolerance, and can survive for several days out of water under moist conditions.
Taken together, their small size, dark coloration, and ability to stick to things makes them excellent at invading new systems. They can hitch a ride on fishing gear, sampling equipment, shoes (hiding in the treads and under the laces), and clothes, as well as on the fur of dogs and horses. We know of no way to get rid of them once they invade a river system, other than drastic dewatering or poisoning. Researchers are investigating options for biological control.
The best way to manage New Zealand mudsnails and other invasive species is to try and prevent them from spreading.
Please help contain the spread of NZMS by doing the following:
- Stay out of infected streams and do NOT go from one stream to another in wet gear.
- If you need to go into an infected stream, consider having dedicated clothes and gear that you don’t wear anywhere else.
- Scrub all gear with a stiff brush before you leave an infected site; mudsnails are experts at hiding, so you can’t trust a visual inspection.
- Let all gear dry completely between visits, or freeze for a minimum of six hours between uses.
As Dr. Drill continues to monitor the distribution and impacts of NZMS in the Santa Clara River she will be adding her findings to the NZMS website. You can find the site at http://groups.ucanr.org/NZMS/. She will also be doing outreach for fisherfolk in the fall. Check back for dates and locations!