CATALINA ISLAND — The Catalina Island Conservancy has announced the new Catalina Island Restoration Project, an ambitious plan at the core of the conservancy’s mission to foster a resilient and healthy island for future generations.
The project builds upon more than 50 years of conservation and educational work by the conservancy. It focuses on safeguarding and supporting the island’s natural ability to protect itself and those who call it home by concentrating on three pillars – habitat restoration, plant restoration and species management. While the project includes difficult decisions, the timing, according to the conservancy, has never been more paramount as the impacts of climate change are being felt globally and locally.
The Catalina Island Restoration Project aims to combat soil erosion, preserve endangered native species, minimize the risk of wildfires and foster a healthy ecosystem. This will ensure that the soil is stabilized, unique plant and animal species don’t go extinct, there’s more water capture, and both animals and humans can thrive. The conservancy aims to create a harmonious balance through habitat restoration in which the island’s natural beauty can flourish.
To revive the delicate ecological balance on Catalina Island, the conservancy has established a seed farm dedicated to growing endemic and native plant species. These plants play a vital role in the restoration process, and their seeds are harvested to create specialized seed mixes for restoration projects. By re-introducing and propagating native plants, the conservancy aims to ensure the preservation of Catalina Island’s unique flora, which is crucial for maintaining a resilient ecosystem.
Over time, the introduction of non-native plant and animal species, such as Genista linifolia (flax-leaf broom) and mule deer, has dramatically harmed the island’s ecosystem. The Catalina Restoration Project encompasses the development of a comprehensive plan for removing deer and reducing invasive plant species to alleviate the detrimental impact of these species on native animals and plants and to restore ecosystem services.
This opportunity to make a significant, positive change for the future of Catalina Island is one of the most significant conservation efforts to date in the state of California.
The conservancy invites you to learn more about the Catalina Island Restoration Project by visiting www.CatalinaConservancy.org.