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Statement of Purpose


Removing Matilija Dam:

Final Design:

Feasibility Study:

Early Progress:

Background Information:

About the Matilija Coalition:

Contact us


Matilija Dam Removal

Project Description

The Matilija Dam Ecosystem Restoration Project is intended to restore the Ventura River watershed through the removal of the obsolete Matilija Dam. Constructed in 1948, the dam has trapped 6 million cubic yards of sediment and contributed to the decline of the endangered southern steelhead.

• Improve Aquatic And Terrestrial Habitat Along Matilija Creek And Ventura River
• Restore Fish Passage
• Restore Natural Processes To Support Beach Sand Replenishment
• Enhance Recreational Opportunities

The primary technical issue is management of the sediment that has accumulated upstream of the dam. The Feasiblity Study (see resulted in a plan to remove the dam and allow controlled release of sediment through natural transport. However, downstream development requires additional work to ensure secure water supply and flood protection. The project components are illustrated below and include:

  • Sediment Management
    • Slurry Disposal - 2 million cubic yards of fine sediment downstream of Robles Diversion
    • Stabilize remaining 4 million cubic yards of sediment (from small fines to large boulders) behind the dam
    • Desilting basin - construct a sediment basin along the Robles Water Diversion Canal
  • Levees
    • Meiners Oaks - new levee downstream of Robles Diversion
    • Live Oak levee reconstruction (just upstream of Santa Ana Blvd bridge)
  • Bridges
    • Camino Cielo bridge
    • Santa Ana bridge
  • Water Supply
    • (Robles Diversion) Modifications - High flow bypass will flush sediment past diversion
    • Wells - drill 2 new water wells at Foster Park for the City of Ventura.
  • Arundo (giant reed) Management

The Recommended Plan from the Feasibility Study is below. You may also download a poster that describes the project components (1MB)




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Page last updated: May 2002 2002.