Coastal stream restoration projects concentrated where residents are ‘whiter, wealthier, and more educated,’ researchers find.
Disparity in distribution evident from Santa Cruz to Santa Barbara
April 10, 2018
By Jennifer McNulty
Stream restoration efforts along the coast of Central California are unevenly distributed, with activity more likely to occur in areas that are more highly populated and dominated by residents who are “whiter, wealthier, and more educated,” according to an analysis by researchers at the University of California, Santa Cruz.
In addition, coastal stream restoration is heavily concentrated in Santa Cruz, Morro Bay, and southern Santa Barbara County, creating “restoration deserts” with virtually no activity, said lead author Bronwen Stanford, a doctoral candidate in environmental studies.
“Restoration projects were really unevenly distributed, and a lot of the Central Coast had no projects at all,” said Stanford. “This disparity is troubling for social and ecological reasons. It begs the question, are we overlooking certain communities or certain types of ecological sites?”
A new study looked at 699 sites of publicly funded stream restoration projects between Santa Cruz and Santa Barbara counties that were completed between 1983 and 2017.