About the Project
After years of neglect, the estuary is being revegetated to restore a sustainable ecosystem to attract wildlife and continue the expansion of the riparian corridor. Walking paths allow the community to observe the restoration and enjoy the returning wildlife.
The San Lorenzo River travels along its 29.3-mile course, flowing into Monterey Bay at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. The 2.2-mile urban river stretch — from the Laurel Street Bridge to the mouth of the San Lorenzo River, where it enters Monterey Bay — is bordered on either side by levees to prevent flooding into the residential neighborhoods and downtown areas. The river banks of these levees have accumulated sand and soil to sustain native vegetation, which provides the food, shelter, and nesting areas for local and migratory bird populations as well as shade and sustenance for steelhead trout and Coho salmon. This stretch of the river is recognized as a valuable resource with diverse microsystems that are essential to the integrity of the native habitat in the lower San Lorenzo River and estuary and integral to the overall health of the San Lorenzo Valley Watershed.
The Estuary Re-vegetation Project supports the restoration of the native habitat of the lower river by thoughtfully tending to the plants and soils along the levee. The Estuary Re-vegetation Project works to:
- Remove invasive non-native vegetation
- Reveal existing native plants
- Restore native vegetation along the levee/riparian section of the river
- Increase the connectivity of restored habitat throughout the San Lorenzo Valley Watershed, creating extended corridors of native habitat.
The Estuary Re-vegetation Project is led by Jane Mio and builds upon previous levee restoration projects. Jane meets on the third Saturday of every month at a chosen site on the Estuary. She engages with and educates community volunteers to restore this crucial section of the San Lorenzo River.
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