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Project Location


The Upper Las Positas Creek Restoration Project, completed in 2010, included the restoration of approximately eight acres of wetland habitat and an engineered storm water management system at the Santa Barbara Golf Club and Adams Elementary School.

Upper Las Positas Creek is surrounded by residential properties, the Santa Barbara Golf Club, and Adams Elementary School. Before project construction, erosive flows during winter storms carried sediment and other contaminants down Las Positas Creek to the Arroyo Burro Estuary and the ocean.

 The project included the construction of approximately three acres of swales and holding basins to reduce peak storm runoff, decreasing offsite flows during large storms that may lead to increased erosion and poor water quality downstream. Storm water basins provide areas where sediment and potentially harmful bacteria can settle out of the water column, reducing contaminants downstream. Over five acres of native habitat was restored through the creation of wetland pools, ponds, and more natural creek channels. Approximately 10,000 native plants were installed as part of the project. 

Awards and Recognition

2015 California Storm Water Quality Association (CASQA) Sustainability Award

Adams School Bioswale

An additional component of the project was the creation of a bioswale on the adjacent Adams Elementary School campus. Prior to construction of the new bioswale, storm water runoff rapidly flowed onto the Golf Club property from Adams School via a long asphalt drainage channel. As part of this project the asphalt channel was removed and a bioswale was created through grading and native plantings.

The bioswale area is now an important site for educational programming for students. Water that enters the bioswale from the storm drain on Las Positas Road slowly travels along the newly restored creek channel as it heads downstream and enters the larger project on the City’s golf course, with the entire project resulting in significant expansion and enhancement of wetlands benefiting both wildlife and water quality.