Solutions to the Santa Barbara Bird Refuge smell come to the surface

New release gate among the changes approved

Santa Barbara Bird Refuge will see improvements to water quality and overall smell in the area. (John Palminteri/KEYT photo)

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The Santa Barbara Bird Refuge should be smelling better in the coming years with a new improvement plan now in the works.

It is a water source fed by Sycamore Creek on the east side of Santa Barbara.

In the last few years during the drought, it was nearly gone dry.
That and other factors have, at times, created a stench.
The "rotten egg" smell upset residents, business owners, and drivers for miles.
The Santa Barbara City Council has approved a $2-million dollar project for improvements to keep the water circulating and cleaner, so the smell issue doesn't come to the surface.
Part of the work includes new weir gates to the ocean at East Beach and upgrades to the landscaping.
Officially the water site is called the Andree Clark Bird Refuge, named after the sister of the major donor Huegette Clark.    She paid $50-thousand to  create the artificial freshwater lake in 1928. It is across from the Bellosguardo Estate.
The 42-acre site has a 29-acre pond visited by over 200 species of birds...including coots, mallards, gulls, herons and and ducks.


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