Continued Partnership Enhances Sustainability
Catalina Island Conservancy is proud to once again partner with the United States Marine Corps’ 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing through the Department of Defense Innovative Readiness Training program to bring troops to Catalina Island to restore sections of roadway, improving long-term sustainability of the roads which are critically important for safety and access across the island. Reducing sediment loss, uncontrolled storm water flows and improving accessibility are important for roadways that will endure long into the future.
“This project is a great benefit to the Conservancy and the Marines. We like to call it a win-win. As a not for profit and without a tax base, the Conservancy must find creative solutions to difficult infrastructure issues on Catalina Island,” said Conservancy President & CEO Tony Budrovich. “We have worked with the Marines on another IRT project and know their work to be exceptional and at the same time allows them to train on mission critical topics key to their future needs.”

Around 45 Marines arrived in April to spend several weeks restoring sections of Middle Ranch Road and Airport Road on Catalina Island. The logistical challenge allows Marines, including the project lead of Marine Wing Support Squadron 373, to exercise all of their capabilities. Marines are stationed at Airport in the Sky with living facilities in the hangar at ACE Clearwater Airfield.
Habitat Improvement Continues
In mid-April, we had an especially successful day for our Invasive Plant Program crew. In just one day, the team pulled 2,207 Genista linifolia (flax-leaf broom) in Cottonwood Canyon, which will ultimately protect the riparian area in the canyon and the hillsides around it. Sr. Director of Conservation Deni Porej was out in the field with the team and pulled the largest Genista of the day! Invasive species are routinely treated by staff through the Catalina Habitat Improvement and Restoration Program (CHIRP) to keep them from further invading our rare native vegetative communities. Learn more about our Conservation Programs.
Looking Forward to Lectures
The Last Friday Lecture Series continues to reach a wide audience, with the first three lectures of the year reaching an average of more than 200 people. So far in 2021, the Conservancy has brought in subject matter experts to discuss biosecurity, paleo-coastlines of Catalina, and the unique geologic history of the Island. In April, we learned about the conservation of Island foxes. May will see nature journaling luminary John Muir Laws providing an introduction to the practice. Sign up today!
Please Be Vigilant!
An outbreak of deadly Canine Distemper Virus (CDV) has been declared in raccoons in East Long Beach. In the 90s, CDV made its way to the Island via a stowaway raccoon on a vessel. This caused devastation to Catalina Island foxes with a population decline of 90 to 95 percent. Only about 100 foxes remained. It is only through years of breeding programs and consistent human intervention that the population has made a recovery. With the current outbreak of CDV on the mainland, curbing the spread of this fatal disease to dogs and other animals is of the utmost importance. When traveling to Catalina with animals, please be sure to follow all guidelines including keeping current on vaccinations and keeping your dog leashed at all times. View our policies and safety information.