Matilija Dam Removal

Matilija Dam Removal

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Project Goal:

Support the Matilija Coalition, Ventura County Watershed Protection District and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in securing funding to finalize a dam removal design and associated re-evaluation of downstream mitigations.

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Project Stages

35% Planning and Design

65% Planning and Design

100% Planning, Design, and Permitting



Estimated Completion Date:
2024 - 2031


Project Funders

CDFW Prop 1


Resource Legacy Fund

Fish Affected:


Project Description

Matilija Dam on the Ventura River is obsolete and was condemned more than 50 years ago. Yet it remains, completely disconnecting the upper watershed and blocking critically endangered Southern California steelhead from reaching miles of headwater habitat. CalTrout is part of the Matilija Coalition and has had amazing recent success in securing funding for dam removal planning and studies and lower watershed infrastructure upgrades, including the $13 million grant award from CDFW to replace the Santa Ana Bridge. This project and the eventual removal of Matilija Dam will allow the Ventura River’s human and ecological communities to become more water and climate resilient in a future that holds increased uncertainty from the impact of droughts, floods and wildfires.

Project Partners:

National Marine Fisheries Service
Ventura River Watershed Council Patagonia
US Fish and Wildlife, California Department of Fish and Wildlife
Surfrider Foundation and Matilija Coalition
Coastal Conservancy
Ventura County Watershed Protection District
NOAA Restoration Center
Stoecker Ecological
State Coastal Conservancy
Resources Legacy Fund