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Devereux Slough Program Earns Coastal Fund Award

In the heart of the Coal Oil Point Reserve, the Devereux Slough often has been noted as one of the top bird-watching locations in California. Thousands of birders visit this unique ecosystem yearly. Although the small estuary is known for its aesthetic values, an opportunity to educate the community about the unique biological and physical aspects of this system has been developing in the past few years. With the help of the UCSB Coastal Fund, which awarded the program $4,000, the Devereux Slough Monitoring Program will continue long-term data collection and increase community involvement in the program.

The DSMP aims to add long-term biological and ecological monitoring of the Devereux system to supplement a complete ecosystem database of the Coal Oil Point Reserve. The DSMP monitoring of water quality, flora and fauna at the estuary will enhance the monitoring projects occurring at COPR, such as atmospheric, currents, vegetative and bird research.

A part of the University of California Natural Reserve System, COPR will have ecosystem level data available for a variety of different parameters, making this protected area a perfect location for research projects and educational activities. UC protects 34 natural reserves in California for its research, education and public service missions.

The DSMP also will be a useful tool to educate students, reserve users and community members about ecological conditions within the estuary. The information will inform the public about the effects of development as well as managerial issues focused on responsible watershed use. The database created through the DSMP will be made available for students/researchers who wish to study the Devereux Watershed and will be used by educators who want to utilize COPR and the Devereux Slough as an outdoor laboratory to supplement classroom lessons.

Interns, as well as volunteers from UCSB and the community who wish to gain field experience and learn about the interactions and characteristics of estuarine systems will conduct field data collection. COPR plans to develop the DSMP as a permanent reserve program.

For more information or to volunteer for the DSMP, e-mail Tara Longwell at [email protected]

Scott Bull represents the Devereux Slough Monitoring Program.

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