The Ellwood Beach Public Access and Habitat Enhancement Project has more funding thanks to a $208,500 National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Grant. The Project will complete the final design for two beach access points on the City-owned property; one being a stairway and the other a sloped trail down to the beach. A total of five acres of habitat restoration surrounding the two beach accessways will benefit native grassland, bluff scrub, coastal sage scrub, and dune ecosystems, as well as improve the aesthetics and user experience. All activities funded under this grant must be completed by February 29, 2024.
The grant money came from the 2015 Refugio Oil Spill settlement in which Plains All American Pipeline was ordered to pay more than $60 million for natural resource damages, penalties, and to reimburse the governmental entities for costs incurred as a result of the oil spill. The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), together with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, California Department of Parks and Recreation, California State Lands Commission, and Regents of the University of California (collectively the “State Trustees”) established a grant program under the consent decree settling the civil action.
The goal of the grant program is to allocate available funds to a variety of recreationally based projects down the coast from El Capitan State Beach to Long Beach. Other grant programs were also established to restore habitat and wildlife impacts from the oil spill.
The Goleta City Council adopted a resolution for the grant at the November 15, 2022, meeting. Read the staff report here.