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Ventura Settling Ponds Update

The settling ponds and the Santa Clara River Estuary are about to undergo major changes. With the diversion of treated wastewater away from the ponds and estuary we will be seeing changes. VAS supports the efforts of Ventura to restore the estuary and to create a sustainable drinking water supply; however, we are concerned that this amazing place will be drastically changed and eventually disappear. We are asking for your help! If you go birding at the ponds and have an E-bird account, share your list with the Ventura_Audubon E-bird account. The data we gather can help us protect this special area. If you don't have an account, head over to and sign up.

Check out the Letter to the Editor of the Star from Conservation Committee Member Kristen Kessler.

Project needs to protect birds

Re: your May 25 story, “Key funding arrives to boost water supply in Ventura”:

The Ventura WaterPure project is a win for our water supply, but for the

birds at the settling ponds at the harbor, the future is less certain. The settling

ponds are home to 240 bird species and are a popular spot for birders and the

public. They are one of Ventura’s treasured places. The WaterPure project

will eventually divert up to 100% of the treated wastewater from the ponds, potentially

affecting thousands of birds. The project has already been approved,

but we can still advocate for birds by staying informed and holding

our city officials accountable. After 60% of the water is diverted, the condition

of the ponds and the adjacent estuary will be assessed. This will be a critical

juncture in the project, and the time to speak up should the ponds be in danger

of drying up. Increasing our water supply is important,

but it shouldn’t mean habitat loss for thousands of birds. Let’s keep a

close eye on the WaterPure project.

Kristen Kessler, Ventura

Vince Kinsch, VAS President - Oral Comment at May 12 Coastal Commission Hearing

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