The Cheadle Center for Biodiversity and Ecological Restoration will host a controlled burn of UCSB’s Lagoon Island from July 21-27 as part of the ecological restoration of the natural landmark.
The island will be set ablaze to remove non-native Mediterranean grasses and clear space to plant native coastal vegetation. The burn is a collaborative project between UCSB’s Cheadle Center and the Fire Protection Division of UCSB’s Environmental Health Safety Department as well as Santa Barbara County’s Fire Department and Arson Task Force.
The initial burn is scheduled for Saturday, July 21 and organizers hope the blaze can be effectively conducted in one day, though the amount of fog present will be the final determinant. According to organizers, the fire must be hot enough to eliminate established non-native seed banks and cannot reach the desired temperature in misty conditions.
This will be the fifth year that UCSB has carried out a protective burn as part of the ecological restoration program. School administrators have acquired the necessary permits from the Coastal Commission and Air Pollution Control District.
Founded in 2005, the Cheadle Center handles over 230 acres of land on the UCSB campus, aiming to protect native plant resources and biodiversity.
The CCBER manages regions including controlled sections of native plants and wetlands protected under the Clean Water Act and Coastal Act. Additionally, North Bluff, Manzanita Village, Storke Wetlands, San Clemente, Campus Lagoon and other areas that have seen considerable human impact are protected by the CCBER.