B. Life on the Edge - Our Biodiversity Initiative
Where the edge of the continent and the Pacific Ocean meet on the Central Coast is one of the most spectacular and biologically diverse areas in the state. Working to protect healthy ecosystems in this special place our biodiversity initiative priorities include:
MARINE HABITATS – to enforce protection of marine and near-shore biodiversity: EPI participated as a member of the DFG Central Coast MPA Stakeholders group formulating the first MPA network as part of the Departments current MLPA implementation effort. In addition EPI has partnered with local and Statewide efforts to end septic tank discharge contamination of Morro Bay National Estuary; phase out Once Through Cooling at coastal power plants; and minimize dredging project impacts at Santa Cruz harbor, Morro Bay, and Port San Luis.
WATERSHED ECOSYSTEMS– to improve watershed health and water quality at the land/sea interface: Current EPI projects include monitoring of a mitigation/restoration of a coastal stream segment in San Simeon; determination and mapping of barriers impacting the ability of the Santa Maria River, Pismo Creek, Big Sur River, and the San Lorenzo River to support the passage of anadromous fish; and advocating maximum enforcement of regulations protecting species throughout the coastal watersheds of the region.