Santa Maria River Healthy Watershed Initiative


Click here to join the Water Team.

Santa Barbara County Action Network is working with Creek Lands Conservation and other community organizations and individuals to help bring together community members who are interested in the health of their local watershed. The goal is to develop a community-based group that will address challenges to water issues throughout the water system that flows into the Santa Maria River.

We are forming a Water Team to provide education, improve water quality and quantity, reverse habitat degradation, develop a watershed report card, and hold outreach events, among other actions. If you'd like to join our Water Team or get more information, sign up below.

This is part of the Santa Maria River Healthy Watershed Initiative, the first community-based watershed group development effort for the Santa Maria River. SBCAN's involvement is supported by a grant from CalEPA.

The Santa Maria River Watershed (see map above) is primarily in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties while its eastern edge is in Ventura County. Tributaries flow into the Cuyama and Sisquoc rivers, which come together at Fugler Point to form the Santa Maria River, which in turn flows west form an estuary in the Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes complex, just west of the City of Guadalupe. The Cuyama River headwaters are in the Los Padres National Forest. Twitchell Dam creates a reservoir on this river for flood control and groundwater recharge. The headwaters of the Sisquoc River are in the San Rafael Wilderness. The river is free flowing, natural and undisturbed. A 33-mile segment of it is designated as Wild and Scenic.

To see photos showing the aftermath of storms from January through March 2023, which flooded Rancho Guadalupe Dunes Park, click here.