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Posted on July 1, 2014 | 12:46 p.m.

Santa Barbara Airport Awarded Wildlife Hazard Assessment Grant

Source: Hazel Johns for the Santa Barbara Airport

The Santa Barbara Airport announced Tuesday that it has been awarded an Airport Improvement Program Grant by the Federal Aviation Administration to conduct a Wildlife Hazard Assessment and update its Wildlife Hazard Management Plan.

This federally funded $90,700 grant will allow the SBA to conduct a Wildlife Hazard Assessment to identify the wildlife species observed and assess their numbers, locations, local movement, and daily/seasonal activities. This grant award furthers the airport’s efforts to ensure the safety of the flying public with minimal impact to the environment.

“Between the runway relocation project, the tidal restoration project, and the ending of the Slough mouth maintenance program, our situation is quite different from our last Wildlife Hazard Assessment in 2005. It’s time for an update,” airport director Hazel Johns said.

In 2010, the airport restored 13 acres of tidal wetlands in the Goleta Slough to reduce waterfowl attractants and improve native habitat.

“Tidal wetland restoration has been a huge win-win for Santa Barbara," said Andrew Bermond, airport project planner. "It enhances a vital ecosystem while improving safety for the flying public.”

The year-long assessment will look at wildlife attractants on airport property and locations within a five-mile radius of the airport. The results of the Wildlife Hazard Assessment will be used to update the airport’s Wildlife Hazard Management Plan.

The Santa Barbara Airport is a self-supporting enterprise owned and operated by the City of Santa Barbara, serving over 710,000 passengers annually.

— Hazel Johns is director of the Santa Barbara Airport.

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