NBVC manages a highly successful, award-winning environmental program that balances stewardship of its extensive natural and cultural resources with its critical mission as a major aviation shore command and Naval Construction Force mobilization base. The NBVC Natural Resources Conservation Team [NRCT] has a record of excellence and outstanding achievement. These accomplishments support the mission by:
1) Leveraging partnerships to fulfill Integrated Natural Resource Management Plan [INRMP] requirements by collaborating with outside researchers to address data gaps;
2) Creating a substantial time and cost savings to the Navy by maintaining excellent working relationships with Federal and State regulators, other agencies and land managers, Sikes Act partners, and community groups; and
3) Capitalizing on new and innovative methods to accomplish more efficient and effective species management.
The NRCT implements three INRMPs as the basis for managing natural resources while accomplishing NBVC’s military mission in a sustainable manner. In addition, they oversee 21 Environmental Program Requirements, or individual programs supporting the goals and objectives described in the INRMP, with a combined average annual operating budget of approximately $1.7 million. The NRCT also ensures compliance with two Programmatic Biological Opinions covering ongoing naval operations at NBVC, as well as a number of project specific BOs such as Bird/Animal Aircraft Strike Hazard Program [BASH], Countermeasures Testing and Training, and Directed Energy Testing.
NBVC Point Mugu is comprised of 1820 hectares [ha] on the coast, 890 ha of which are jurisdictional delineated wetlands, the largest remaining coastal salt marsh estuary in Southern California. The Calleguas Creek Watershed, which drains approximately 88,800 ha of Ventura County empties into the Mugu Lagoon. The estuary’s varied habitats pro- vides for thousands of migrating and wintering birds, as well as numerous invertebrate, fish, and plant species.
Six federally listed species are present year-round or seasonally, including salt marsh bird’s-beak (Chloropyron maritimum subsp. maritimum), light-footed Ridgway’s rail (Rallus obsoletus levipes), western snowy plover (Charadrius alexandrinus nivosus), California least tern (Sterna antillarum browni), least Bell’s vireo (Vireo bellii pusillus), and tidewater goby (Eucyclogobius newberryi). State listed species and species of special concern include Belding’s savannah sparrows (Passerculus sandwichensis beldingi) and southwestern pond turtles (Actinemys pallida).
Port Hueneme is home to one of a few mainland rookeries of Brandt’s cormorants (Phalacrocorax penicillatus) and experiences casual use by two federally listed species, the western snowy plover and the California least tern. Port Hueneme covers 668 ha, including the only deep water port between Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay area.
San Nicolas Island lies 68 miles south-southwest of Ventura and consists of 5,411 ha with a topography dominated by a broad central mesa which drops off as gullied steep slopes around the islands coastline. SNI is home to three federally listed species including the western snowy plover, black abalone (Haliotis cracherodii), and southern sea otters (Enhydra lutris). State-listed species include the SNI island fox (Urocyon littoralis dickeyi), SNI buck-wheat (Eriogonum grande), and beach spectacle-pod (Dithyrea maritima). The second most dense seal and sea lion rookery in North America, the island is hosts upwards of 170,000 California sea lions (Zalophus californianus), northern elephant seals (Mirounga angustirostris), and Pacific harbor seals (Phoca vitulina) during the breeding season.