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A century later, Santa Cruz Island wetland to be restored

September 27, 2011 | 12:06 pm

Santa cruz island 
A major restoration project could bring back a long-degraded wetland to one of the Channel Islands.

Workers have broken ground on a $1-million project that will cut down 1,800 nonnative eucalyptus trees and scoop out tons of dirt and gravel to restore a coastal wetland on Santa Cruz Island, Channel Islands National Park officials announced Monday.

In the coming months, crews will work to return some 60 acres of habitat on the rugged island to the way it was before being degraded by ranching and farming activity more than a century ago.

Crews have started using heavy equipment to reshape the mouth of the island’s largest stream so it will flow freely onto 4 acres of restored wetland at Prisoners Harbor.

The anchorage on the north side of the island was once home to the largest coastal wetland in the Channel Islands, an archipelago of five ecologically distinct islands that are sometimes referred to as North America’s Galapagos.

Read the full story.

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-- Tony Barboza

Photo:  Aerial view of Santa Cruz Island. Credit: Al Seib