A sand berm has been removed from the front of the Carpinteria Salt Marsh, allowing stagnant water to flow out to the ocean.
Special permits from the Coastal Commission and the Army Corps of Engineers were issued to allow a bulldozer in to break open the blockage.
The sand built up in part because of the lack of runoff water after the dry winter.
In the last few weeks, the water began losing its oxygen content and fish were dying off. There was also a stench over the area near beachfront homes and apartments.
Once the sand was cleared the natural tidal flow flushed out the marsh and the ecosystem has returned to normal.