MRT is dedicated to working to renew and restore degraded, damaged, or destroyed habitats in the Santa Monica Mountains. The Santa Monica Mountains are one of the largest intact and most significant examples of Mediterranean-type ecosystems in the world. The climate of this ecosystem is characterized by wet winters and warm, dry summers. The Mediterranean-type ecosystem along with the diverse topography has created a landscape filled with unique natural resources. This ecosystem has been identified as one of the world’s “hot spots” for biodiversity. Biodiversity “hot spots” have large numbers of endemic species – those found nowhere else and that are heavily threatened by habitat loss and other human activities.
Many of our restoration efforts include re-establishing native species, removing non-native aquatic and terrestrial species, as well as habitat improvements for targeted species, such as the federally endangered southern California steelhead trout.
We collect acorns, seeds and cuttings from native plant species in the area, propagate them in our greenhouse, and then plant them in areas with poor native cover. We continually monitor our restoration sites in our preserves and the lands we manage in order to be sure the natural habitat is healthy and thriving.
Stream bank restoration and water quality management are other significant resource areas, particularly as ongoing drought issues face the region. 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 major projects is obtained through government programs for mitigation. The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) both require that the potential impacts on species, habitat and farmland, from development be considered. Measures are taken to balance those negative impacts through a process known as “mitigation.” Mitigation is frequently required when significant impacts are identified by the environmental review process. Our mitigation projects are intended to offset known impacts to an existing natural resource, such as a stream, wetland or species of special status.
Our Most Trusted Supporting partners
MRT partners with federal, state, and local agencies on restoration projects on public lands. By partnering with public agencies, we are able to leverage resources, such as equipment and volunteers, in order to complete projects to preserve and restore public lands. A few of our partners include: National Park Service, California State Parks, TreePeople, UCLA, Pepperdine, Calabasas High School, and the Shalom Institute.