• Chamber News

  • Riverbed Cleanup Update

    January 29, 2020
    Riverbed Cleanup Update

    As part of the City of Santa Maria’s efforts to maintain and enhance more than 150 acres of City-owned property in the Santa Maria River, and re-establish public walking trails and native plants and reduce invasive plants, it was also necessary to prevent further environmental destruction caused by illegal dumping, littering, and related trespassing activities.

    Prior to beginning cleanup efforts this month, City representatives notified local social service providers about the cleanup effort, so they could be prepared to provide services to those individuals who were using this property illegally. The City then posted signs notifying anyone residing on its riverbed property to vacate; the sign also listed available social service agencies ready to assist. The goal is to make the public property a safe place for everyone in the community.

    The cleanup effort removed over 250 tons of trash and debris left by illegal activities. The City purchased the land in 2009 with grant funds, as an effort to preserve plants and wildlife, filter storm runoff, and replenish the groundwater basin. In 2010 and 2011, 35 interpretive nature markers were placed on the grounds to educate visitors.

    Some of the individuals leaving the property have contacted social services agencies for assistance, while others have chosen to relocate their camps.  Trespassing is illegal within the City limits, and the City encourages anyone experiencing trespassing on their property to contact the Santa Maria Police Department for assistance.

    For more information, please call the City Manager’s Office (805) 925-0951 extension 2372. 

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