Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 77.90
Liaison Katie Maynard
Submission Date March 4, 2021

STARS v2.2

University of California, Santa Barbara
OP-10: Biodiversity

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Lisa Stratton
Cheadle Center for Biodiversity & Ecological Restoration
"---" 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 UCSB campus is bordered by five surface water bodies: Devereux Slough, Goleta Slough, Campus Lagoon, the Pacific Ocean, and Storke Wetlands, all of which are protected from urbanization. Although not owned by UCSB, the portion of the Pacific Ocean that borders the UCSB campus is considered a No-Take State Marine Conservation Area (SMCA), where the fishing/ taking of marine resources is prohibited. The 2010 Long Range Development Plan classified 237 acres of campus land as environmentally sensitive habitat area (ESHA), including UCSB's Coal Oil Point Reserve, because of the area's rarity, special role in the ecosystem, and/or because the area served as a natural buffer to more sensitive areas. The Cheadle Center for Biological and Ecological Restoration (CCBER) is tasked with the protection and restoration of many of these sensitive areas.

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:

Western Snowy Plover - Federally Threatened, nests on Coal Oil Point Reserve and on CCBER-managed restoration area known as North Campus Open Space (136 ac).

Tidewater Goby - Federally endangered fish - occupies Devereux Slough managed by Campus (CCBER and Natural Reserve System)

Ventura Marsh Milk-vetch - Federally endangered plant - thriving population established on North Campus Open Space

Multiple California Native Plant species listed as 1B special status - e.g. Centromadia parryi var. Australis, Abronia maritima, Atriplex coulterii, Lonicera subspicata var subspicata

Multiple sensitive species - Belding’s Savannah Sparrow nesting, Burrowing owl roosting, Heron and egret nesting, Cooper’s Hawk, Red-tailed and Red-shouldered hawk nesting.

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:

The ESHA map overlay can be found in UCSB's Long Range Development Plan, specifically in the Land Use Map Series. The map includes species and areas that are labeled ESHA. Identified species include: Beldings Savanna Sparrows, Burrowing Owls, Globose Dune Beetles, monarch aggregation areas, raptor nests, Sandy Beach Tiger Beetles, Santa Barbara honeysuckle, Southern Tarplant, Western snowy plover, and Tidewater Gobies.

The methodologies used to identify endangered and vulnerable species and/or areas of biodiversity importance and any ongoing assessment and monitoring mechanisms:

Species listed on State, Federal, and Local lists for those considered threatened, endangered, or of concern are protected on campus and identified through various assessments and monitoring programs. Environmentally sensitive areas (ESHA) are determined by the Coastal Commission and Campus through the use of biologists when there are habitats or species of local or greater concern on the site. These areas are surveyed for sensitive biological resources and many of the areas were surveyed by campus faculty (research) and by consultants for project development. The Cheadle Center for Biodiversity and Ecological Restoration monitors the Lagoon Restoration, Manzanita Village vernal pools, South Parcel, North Parcel, North Campus Open Space (Ventura marsh milk-vetch, Western Snowy Plover, Belding’s Savannah sparrow), and Sierra Madre. The Coal Oil Point reserve does intertidal monitoring, protects and monitors western snowy plover, and counts gray whales migrating north through the nearshore of the Santa Barbara Channel.

A brief description of the scope of the assessment(s):

Assessments include monthly bird monitoring in two protected open space areas (Campus Lagoon, North Campus Open Space), weekly monitoring of Western Snowy Plover, biannual monitoring for the tidewater goby in Devereux Slough, continuous water quality monitoring and hydrology monitoring in Devereux Slough, monthly monitoring of the endangered Ventura Marsh Milk Vetch.

A brief description of the plans or programs in place to protect or positively affect identified species, habitats, and/or ecosystems:

UCSB protects and creates wildlife habitat on approximately 238 acres of the campus that are within eight large Ecologically Sensitive Habitat Areas (ESHAs). The University's Cheadle Center for Biodiversity and Ecological Restoration (CCBER) is responsible for the management of the ESHAs and aims to preserve the native plant resources and biodiversity of the region by providing educational opportunities and conducting biological and ecological research. More information regarding wildlife habitat protection at UCSB and the CCBER can be accessed at the link below. The Coal Oil Point reserve takes extensive measures to protect the endangered Snowy Plovers on the beach area near Devereux Slough, a roosting site for up to 180 western Snowy Plovers.
The Long Range Development Plan identifies ESHA and Open Space areas to be protected and restored. There are numerous LRDP policies in place, implemented when development is proposed on campus, that serve to protect ESHA and Open Space areas. These policies range from prohibiting lighting to restoring areas adjacent to development. Also, the Coastal Commission has required the University to develop an Open Space Plan for the entire campus (OS-09). The campus is required to submit the Open Space Plan. The plan will detail management of the Open Spaces on campus and their management.

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.