West Struve Slough Restoration Project on the Watsonville Sloughs Ecological Reserve


SCH Number
Public Agency
Santa Cruz County Resource Conservation District
Document Title
West Struve Slough Restoration Project on the Watsonville Sloughs Ecological Reserve
Document Type
NOE - Notice of Exemption

Document Description
The California Department of Fish and Game owned, Watsonville Sloughs Ecological Reserve at West Struve Slough, is comprised of 110 acres of freshwater wetlands, wet meadow, coastal prairie, and coastal scrub habitats. Approximately 60 acres of the property is inundated with fresh water for the majority of the year in wet years and 50 acres of the property remain as upland throughout the year the property was acquired by the CA DFG in the 1970's after extensive use of the land for row crop farming and orchards, which led to its current condition of greatly reduced native habitat diversity and a predominance of exotic vegetation divergent from native ecosystem structure and composition. The West Struve Slough Restoration Project will remove invasive plant species and plant native species to restore and enhance coastal prairie, wet meadow, and coastal scrub habitat on 30 acres of the 50 acres of upland habitat on the property. The project will also maintain and enhance a grassed waterway planted with native perennial plant species, designed to filter storm water run-off from the adjacent urban land use (Pajaro Valley High School). Resulting habitat improvements will greatly benefit the numerous avian, reptile, and mammal species on the ecological reserve. Re-establishment of native wet meadow habitat in-particular will enhance the connectivity of wetland and upland habitat and contribute to greater potential for dispersal and habitat integration across ecological boundaries. Water quality improvements associated with the grassed waterway will reduce sediment and nutrients in the West Struve slough as well as throughout the hydrologically connected Watsonville Sloughs Wetland Complex. The project will also integrate an education component for students and community groups.

Contact Information
James McKenna
Santa Cruz County Resource Conservation District
Lead/Public Agency
820 Bay Avenue, Suite 128
Capitola, CA 95010

Phone : (831) 464-2950


Santa Cruz

Notice of Exemption

Exempt Status
Categorical Exemption
Type, Section or Code
Reasons for Exemption
This project will not affect sensitive areas or resources. This project is being conducted in such a way that it will not impact native, sensitive, or special status species. The project takes place on the upland portion of the reserve and involves no manipulation of the wetland environment. The project site is within the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Designation of Critical Habitat Area for California Red Legged Frog. The project design and restoration practices will ensure this species is not impacted. The project has been reviewed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. California Red-legged frog avoidance measures, provided by the Service, will be followed to ensure no impact occurs. Additionally, the majority of the project work will utilize non-motorized equipment (hand tools) and all personnel and volunteers will be trained in California red-legged frog identification. There are no individuals present of Holocarpha macradenia, nor have any been recorded on the property in the last 10 years. There was one attempt to reintroduce the plant to the property in the late 1990's, but this attempt was entirely unsuccessful. While the site would be a good location for future attempts at restoring a population of this plant, we can be assured at this time that this project will not affect this plant species in any way.

Disclaimer: The document was originally posted before CEQAnet had the capability to host attachments for the public. To obtain the original attachments for this document, please contact the lead agency at the contact information listed above. You may also contact the OPR via email at state.clearinghouse@opr.ca.gov or via phone at (916) 445-0613.

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