Removing the obsolete Matilija Dam and modernizing associated downstream infrastructure will improve water and climate resilience in the Ventura River watershed. The Matilija Dam Ecosystem Restoration Project will help restore and sustain the native wildlife and ecosystems of the Ventura River from headwaters to estuary, and it will benefit communities, residents and visitors who depend on the associated infrastructure for flood protection, water supplies, safe river crossings and recreational opportunities.
Significant economic benefits will also flow from Project-related investments. A 2020 analysis conducted by the Bay Area Council Economic Institute (BACEI) concluded that investing a total of $182 million on the Project over the next 10-20 years – or $165 million in 2020 present value – will catalyze job creation and stimulate the local, regional, and statewide economies. The analysis assumes that all downstream infrastructure improvements and dam removal will be designed, funded, and implemented by 2030, and that monitoring, habitat restoration, recreation enhancements and adaptive management will continue for up to 10 years thereafter. Key results include the following:
- The Matilija Dam Ecosystem Restoration Project will support nearly 2,000 full-time equivalent job-years within Ventura County, and more than 2,300 full-time equivalent job-years statewide.
- The Project will also generate nearly $350 million in total economic output statewide, or approximately $2.1 million of impact for every $1.0 million invested (all on a 2020 present-value basis).
The chart below summarizes job-related benefits for each major component over the assumed life of the Project, with most benefits occurring before 2030 due to the focus on infrastructure improvements and dam removal during that period. A summary of statewide economic impacts for each Project component (and for the Project as a whole) follows immediately after the chart.