Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 69.72
Liaison Roxane Beigel-Coryell
Submission Date March 3, 2023

STARS v2.2

California State University, Channel Islands
OP-10: Biodiversity

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Jason Hughes
Grounds Manager
Facilities Services
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution own or manage land that includes or is adjacent to legally protected areas, internationally recognized areas, priority sites for biodiversity, or regions of conservation importance?:

A brief description of the legally protected areas, internationally recognized areas, priority sites for biodiversity, and/or regions of conservation importance:
The CSU Channel Islands University Park (CI Park) is a regional educational and recreation area owned and operated by the university. As an extension of the academic campus, CI Park embraces the mission, values and objectives of the University. The purpose of CI Park is to provide educational and recreational opportunities open to all through habitat restoration activities, maintenance of open spaces, and development of ecological, cultural, and recreational facilities and programs. The university is also home to a protected wetlands on the northwest side of campus.

Has the institution conducted an assessment to identify endangered and vulnerable species (including migratory species) with habitats on land owned or managed by the institution?:

A list of endangered and vulnerable species with habitats on land owned or managed by the institution, by level of extinction risk:
In 2019, an assessment was completed in an area of campus to survey any endangered or vulnerable species on a potential site for a solar array. The survey detected two vulnerable/endangered species: Least Bell’s vireo (Vireo bellii pusillus, federally endangered, state endangered) and Yellow-breasted chat (Species of Special Concern). Least Bell’s vireo (Vireo bellii pusillus, federally endangered, state endangered). This species requires riparian habitat with dense shrub cover for concealing nests. Nesting generally occurs in willows (Salix sp.), mulefat, California wild rose (Rosa californica), poison oak (Toxicodendron diversilobum), mugwort (Artemisia douglasiana), and cottonwood (Populus fremontii). This species has been documented within the nearby Long Grade Creek (Rincon Consultants, Inc. 2009). Yellow-breasted chat (Species of Special Concern). Yellow-breasted chat was observed within the mulefat scrub habitat during the survey effort. This species occurs in a variety of habitats including the edges of streams, ponds, forest edges, and abandoned agricultural fields. Bird nests and eggs are protected by California Fish and Game Code Section 3503 and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. In 2009 the campus conducted an Environmental Impact Report for the entire campus property. That report identified dozens of California Species of Concern and eight threatened/endangered species. The threatened/endangered species included: Federally Endangered Braunton’s milk-vetch (Astragalus brauntonii) Lyon's pentachaeta (Pentachaeta lyonii) Least Bell’s vireo (Vireo bellii pusillus) Federally threatened: Santa Monica dudleya (Dudleya cymosa ssp. ovatifolia) Marcescent dudleya (Dudleya cymosa ssp. marcescens) Verity's dudleya (Dudleya verityi) Coastal California gnatcatcher (Polioptila californica californica) Conejo dudleya (Dudleya parva)

Has the institution conducted an assessment to identify areas of biodiversity importance on land owned or managed by the institution?:

A brief description of areas of biodiversity importance on land owned or managed by the institution:
CI Park has several large open meadow-like areas that provide the flexibility to serve as open space for single and multi-use opportunities. The University will utilize these areas as passive spaces. These facilities will provide supportive amenities to those visiting the walking trails. The campus also manages protection of the wetlands on campus by surveying for litter and preventing development and illegal dumping on the site.

The methodologies used to identify endangered and vulnerable species and/or areas of biodiversity importance and any ongoing assessment and monitoring mechanisms:
CSU Channel Islands conducted an inventory of all current and predicted flora and fauna which is used as a reference for ongoing and future monitoring programs. Portions of CI Park are left managed in their natural state, providing an opportunity to preserve and protect native species. The riparian corridor 6 within CI Park will be restored and maintained as well. The site is used for both research and practical, hands-on experience in wetlands restoration by CI’s undergraduate program in Environmental Science & Resource Management as well as an opportunity for community and educational groups to learn more about the environment .

A brief description of the scope of the assessment(s):
In 2009 CSUCI had a complete Environmental Impact Report done that included a survey of the entire campus property and the surrounding area to identify sites of significance for biodiversity and any endangered/vulnerable species. The campus also solicits a site-specific Environmental Impact Report for any projects that impact the land on campus.

A brief description of the plans or programs in place to protect or positively affect identified species, habitats, and/or ecosystems:
CSUCI is a great place to see and study wildlife. The campus encompasses almost 1200 acres. Of that land, well over 75% will permanently remain essentially undeveloped due to its steep terrain, frequent flooding, or deed restrictions on its use. These areas include wetlands, riparian habit, and the semi arid hillsides. It is home to countless bird species, some of them listed as threatened or endangered. Even within the developed lands, the University has several areas which have been or soon will be restored to native plantings. These areas include Long Grade Canyon Creek within University Glen and the meadow east of University Drive. Upon completion of the entrance road, an additional 5 acres within the lower portions of the creek were restored as a native riparian habitat to support nesting of birds, including the endangered Least Bell’s Vireo. Further to the west near Old Lewis Road, a basin was formed by a new flood control levee, which allows for an extension of the wetland and pond habitat in the area. This area is heavily populated by waterfowl and red wing blackbirds. The University also includes the former Regional Park. The deed to the University prohibits development of the park for anything but passive recreation and environmental education. It contains wetlands, rocky hillsides, grasslands, coastal sage scrub, and even a small pond. Large portions of the park are in a natural state, while others are ripe for habitat restoration. Most noticeable features of the land are a wide variety of raptor birds and impressive views of the surrounding mountains, the Oxnard Plain, and the ocean. The university is using the land as an outdoor natural area for the enjoyment and study of native habitats. An extensive list of plants and animals observed within the park can be found in appendix A of the 2009 Supplemental Impact Report on the University’s Operations, Planning, and Construction website.

Estimated percentage of areas of biodiversity importance that are also protected areas :

Website URL where information about the institution’s biodiversity initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.