Goleta property set to head 'back to the future'

Former Ocean Meadows golf course will once again become a natural wetland

POSTED: 04:18 PM PDT May 23, 2013    UPDATED: 06:25 PM PDT May 23, 2013 
GOLETA, Calif. -

A 64-acre piece of property in Goleta called the Devereux Slough will once again become a natural wetland.

Since 1965, when 500,000 cubic yards of dirt filled in the wetlands, the land has been a golf course. Now, nearly 50 years later, the area will be turned back into what it originally was.

The Trust for Public Land purchased the property in 2012 for $7 million. Today, TPL donated the land to UC Santa Barbara and a major project is ahead.

"We're going to dig out those 500,000 cubic yards of dirt," project manager Alex Size said. "Put them back on the hillside where they came from and restore the land to what it once was."

The transformation will happen over many years. Plans include having countless environmental education opportunities, trails, and even creating a barrier to reduce the flood risk for nearby homes.