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…as environmentalists aim to remove Matilija

Environmentalists and flood control officials are jointly lobbying federal officials for the US$3.7M they say is needed to dismantle Matilija dam in Ventura County, California.

The 58m high dam on Matilija Creek, built in 1947 near Ojai, has been blamed for endangering steelhead trout in the area and robbing local beaches of sand.

Matilija Creek is a tributary of the Ventura river, which has been listed by conservationist group American Rivers as being among the most endangered rivers in 2000, due to the impact of the Matilija dam.

There has been no opposition to removing the dam, because the general consensus is reported to be that it has outlived its original purpose, which was to serve the farming community and post-World War II cities.

Portions of the structure are being removed with

funds from a US$200,000 grant from the California Coastal Conservancy. However, more money will be needed to complete the decommissioning.