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UCSB Coastal Fund Grants $50,000 for Access Improvements

Funds will be used to construct a stairway over the bluff from Campus Beach to Campus Point

The Cheadle Center for Biodiversity and Ecological Restoration has received a $50,000 grant from the UCSB Associated Students Coastal Fund.

Funding will be used to construct a coastal access stairway over the fragile bluff from Campus Beach to Campus Point.

Heavy foot traffic has caused the delicate habitat to quickly erode. The proposed stairway will enhance bluff resources through improved access and habitat restoration.

The project is set to start during the 2010-11 school year.

The structure will be made of concrete footings, a metal-redwood frame and recycled plastic steps. Concrete footings will elevate the stairway and reduce human impact on the bluff, while allowing for natural sand movement. Care will be made to blend the structure with the surrounding vegetation to preserve the beauty of the area.

The grant provides matching funds for several grant applications to cover remaining construction costs. Funding from the Coastal Conservancy and the State Parks Recreational Trails Program will be confirmed later this year once state bonds are released.

This is the fourth major beach access stairway project financed by the Coastal Fund.

Coastal Fund is a student-funded, student-run organization that serves to preserve, protect and enhance the terrestrial and marine habitats associated with the UCSB shoreline. Since the fall of 1999, it has granted $1.68 million for more than 417 projects.

— Jennifer Verhines is the outreach and education coordinator for the UCSB Associated Students Coastal Fund.

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