Removing Matilija Dam:
About the Matilija Coalition:
Sign-on form: Matilija Coalition SignOn.pdf (124k)
We invite you to add your organization to the Matilija Coaltion. Simply download, print, and fill out the sign-on form and return to our office for your official endorsement of the Matilija Coalition’s role in this precedent-setting project.
Background: Seven local, state, and national environmental groups formed the Matilija Coalition in July of 2000 to coordinate non-government organizational (NGO) efforts to remove Matilija Dam. A start-up grant from Patagonia, Inc. created the program as a part of the Ventura County Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation. The Coalition was an integral part of the planning and execution of Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt’s historic visit to the dam on October 12, 2000.
The Matilija Coalition serves as the community’s primary advocate for the Ventura River by focusing on a public outreach campaign to gain local, state, and national support for the multi-agency removal effort. Our strategy is to build the Coalition by linking government, science, and the community through a diversity of programs and activities, including our participation in the current Feasibility Study.
Current Status: In June 2001, the County of Ventura signed a cost share agreement with the Army Corps of Engineers to begin an Ecosystem Restoration Feasibility Study, which will analyze the environmental benefits and technical feasibility of a range of dam removal options. Our goal is completion in time for the Federal Water Resources and Development Act (WRDA) 2004 funding cycle. The funding for removal will require Congressional approval.
Local Government endorsement of this project began in 1998 with a resolution signed by BEACON (Beach Erosion Authority for Clean Ocean and Nourishment) that highlighted the potential to restore coastal sediment supply and stem regional beach erosion problems in Ventura County. The Ventura County Board of Supervisors, the owners of the dam, soon followed with a similar resolution, along with the cities of Ventura, Oxnard, Port Hueneme, and Ojai.
State Government provided significant funding for the Appraisal Report, the Demonstration Project, and almost the entire local match for the Feasibility Study ($1.8M) through the California Resources Agency and California Coastal Conservancy. This year, the County of Ventura introduced a resolution to the State Legislature to formalize the support of our state government.
Building Support: When the time comes for a federal funding request, we need to demonstrate the unanimous and broad support for the removal of Matilija Dam. Over the past five years, a grassroots effort that began with local fishermen and public-minded organizations has “trickled up” and garnered significant government support. The Matilija Coalition is now working to consolidate community and NGO endorsement around the country.
We invite you to endorse the removal of Matilija Dam and join the Coalition as a sign-on partner. Enclosed is a sign-on endorsement for your organization. Simply fill out the form and return it to the Matilija Coalition, PO Box 1028, Ventura, CA 93002.
We hope to add your organization to our growing list of supporters.
Program Coordinator, Matilija Coalition
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Page last updated: Aug 2002 2002.