Ecosystem Impacts for Matilija Dam: California


Originally built in 1947 to store water for agriculture, the Matilija Dam in California has been obsolete for more than 20 years—trapping more than 6 million cubic yards of sediment and blocking access to endangered fish spawning habitat.  Removal of the Matilija Dam has the potential to provide much-needed sediment to the Ventura River Lagoon and the coastal ocean, restoring critical habitat.


As part of a contract with Ventura County, we and our teaming partners are conducting modeling of the lagoon and coastal ocean to help stakeholders understand the effects of sediment release associated with dam removal on the lagoon and coastal ocean habitat.


The dam removal project and associated modeling of the lagoon and coastal system are part of a long-term effort to support ecosystem restoration of the Ventura River watershed.  The modeling asessment will include long-term evaluations of fish habitat and coastal wetland ecosystems to ensure sustainable restoration.