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and boulders (Tway 1991). Characteristic species include California mussels (Mytilus
californianus), green sea anemones (Anthopleura elegantissima), and feather boa kelp
(Egregia menziesii ). The rocky intertidal habitat off Goleta Point has been designated
an Environmentally Sensitive Habitat (ESH) in the Santa Barbara County Local Coastal
Plan (1982).
2.3.2.2 Subtidal
The subtidal habitat in shallow water (7 to 15 ft.) off Goleta Beach consists primarily of
sand with a few scattered rocks that are between 1 and 3 ft. high. Some of these rocks
support feather boa kelp and giant kelp (Macrocystis pyrifera).
The Goleta Sanitary District outfall line runs from the shore to about 93 ft. water depth
west of Goleta Pier, just offshore the eastern end of the proposed Goleta Beach sand
placement area. The outfall line emerges from the sand at a water depth of 8 ft. From
about 11-foot depth to its end, the pipeline is covered by about 3 ft. of armor rock
(Aquatic Bioassay and Consulting Laboratories 2000). The armor rock supports giant
kelp, other algae including Gigartina spp., Cryptopleura sp., Ulva lactuca, and
Cystoseira osmudacea, and a variety of encrusting invertebrates including hydroids,
bryozoans, and solitary tunicates. Mobile macroinvertebrates found amongst the armor
rock include purple sea urchins (Strongylocentrotus purpuratus), spiny lobsters
(Panulirus interruptus), giant keyhole limpets (Megathura crenulata), and ochre sea
stars (Pisaster ochraceus).
A biological survey offshore Goleta Beach in 1991 found a bed of eelgrass (Zostera
marina) at about 18 ft. water depth (Chambers Group 1992).  No eelgrass was
observed within the depths of between 7 and 15 ft. water depth surveyed for this project
but drift eelgrass was observed. It is likely that eelgrass still occurs offshore in 18 to
30-foot water depths. Eelgrass is an important species because it provides shelter and
habitat for a number of organisms.
Historically, a continuous band of giant kelp grew offshore Goleta Beach. This kelp,
which grew primarily in sandy substrate, was destroyed by the 1983 El Nino. By the
late 1980s, after a long series of drought years, kelp began to show signs of recovery.
A 1989 aerial survey of California kelp beds mapped large inshore patches of kelp off
Goleta Beach (Ecoscan, 1989). The 1991 biological survey off Goleta Beach observed
substantial kelp canopy off the western edge of Goleta Beach (Chambers Group 1992).
Starting in 1993, several years (1993, 1995, 1998) of heavy rainfall and rough seas
occurred in southern California. In addition, 1998 was an El Nino year. The high
temperatures and low nutrients associated with the El Nino conditions are stressful for
giant kelp. Much of the kelp in the project area was lost during this period After calm
dry winters in 1999 and 2000, kelp has re-colonized many areas of southern California
but not the area offshore Goleta Beach. During the September, 2000, survey only a few
isolated individuals of giant kelp were observed off Goleta Beach. The relative scarcity
of hard substrate off Goleta Beach is probably the primary reason that kelp
recolonization has not occurred at Goleta. Although kelp can grow on soft substrate, it
is more difficult for recruitment to occur. A kelp bed was observed east of Goleta Pier
16
3208 Bio Report
06/12/02



 


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