Description of Services

crittersBiology Program

SAWA biologists play an active role in the watershed program by performing field studies involving birds, frogs, toads, and snakes, and small mammals. Biologists also monitor animals and plants during invasive plant removal projects to protect both endangered and more common wildlife species. As biologist monitor and study the plants and animals, they try to come up with new ways of doing things that will benefit/help local wildlife.

Biologists also support community environmental activities by surveying sites before clean-ups and flagging sensitive areas. Local government agencies also contact SAWA biologists when they are doing projects to get information on where endangered and sensitive species are located.

Local wildlife issues that SAWA biologists plan to help address include vegetation management during the breeding season and off-road vehicle use. SAWA will continue to work to educate the public on wildlife needs.

jamesinweeds-sHabitat Restoration & Invasive Species Removal

A service provided by SAWA is the enhancement and restoration of native riparian communities. This is accomplished by the removal of exotic species and the management of existing resources, including both habitat and wildlife species. The largest threat to the riparian habitat within the Santa Ana Watershed is takeover by invasive species.SAWA’s comprehensive removal program includes:

  • Identification and mapping of exotic species
  • Initial biomass removal
  • Post treatment
  • Intensive biological surveying during all stages of eradication
  • Monitoring after removal to ensure native species are recovering and reducing the return of the invasive species.

In January of 2004, SAWA established an In Lieu Fee Program for invasive species removal. This program gives developers the option to mitigate for impacts in locations other than the project site.

For project inquiries please contact Executive Director, Hugh Wood, at