According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, California has lost 90 percent of its wetlands and riparian (living or located on the bank of a natural watercourse, such as a river, lake or tidewater) habitats, yet these ecosystems provide habitat to 80 percent of the state's wildlife species. MRT is not only committed to acquiring these areas, but to restoring and maintaining them. Funding for these major projects is obtained through member support and government programs. Protecting these precious habitats throughout the Santa Monica Mountains is a continuing effort.
With a better understanding of the ecological systems, MRT continues working to correct damage that has dramatically changed the mountain ecosystems. Many native species have been re-established, including the oaks. Restoration programs are already producing the needed self-sustaining habitats.
Stream bank restoration and water quality management are other significant resource areas, particularly as ongoing drought issues face the region. MRT recently completed an extensive study identifying groundwater loss issues (see Headwaters to Groundwater) and finished restoring a section of the Dry Canyon Creek at Calabasas.
Public education is a key component in MRT's restoration efforts. Headwaters Corner Interpretive Center (MRT's headquarters) is a community resource, offering workshops and activities for all ages to learn how they can become stewards of the mountains, and discover the many recreational opportunities at the same time.
Visitors to Malibu Creek State Park can witness the commemorative Oaks Program's successful oak tree restoration. Deer have returned to the meadows and birds of all varieties are now nesting in the oaks and shrubs along the trails.