Carpinteria Salt Marsh dredging operations

Santa Barbara County and the City of Carpinteria have begun emergency dredging operations at the Carpinteria Salt Marsh.

Photo courtesy of Mark Bright

The aim of the Carpinteria dredging works is to reduce the risk of flooding to adjacent properties and the City itself.

“After the creek flows receded following the extreme rains from January 2023, the Carpinteria Salt Marsh revealed an extreme amount of sedimentation,” the County said in the release. “This sedimentation obstructs Santa Monica Creek and Franklin Creeks. When these channels are obstructed, the community is at increased risk for flooding throughout the City of Carpinteria.”

Obstructed channels also interrupt the tidal cycle in the marsh, which reduces habitat for fish and wildlife that rely on open water channels for habitat and foraging.

The County is using a hydraulic dredge to remove the sediment and pump it into the surf zone at a designated location near the mouth of the Salt Marsh.

The estimated completion date for the Carpinteria dredging project is early July 2023.