While providing restoration services, SAWA implements facets of the Santa Ana River Watershed Program, continuously restoring the natural functions and resources of the river and its tributaries.
Work accomplished on the ground is performed by SAWA staff and its partnering agencies. The SAWA Restoration Department spends thousands of hours in the field every year, monitoring and treating its large project areas and monitoring subcontractors’ work and progress. The crew also assists biologists with annual video assessments and documents the progress of removal and restoration projects.
In addition to its highly trained habitat restoration crews, SAWA has on staff at least 15 biologists, many of whom have master’s degrees in biology and who hold permits to monitor and handle various wildlife species. Additionally, SAWA hires seasonal biologist assistants to help trap Brown-headed Cowbirds in the watershed.
In recognition of SAWA’s expertise, CDFW issued a 10-year 1600 permit to perform invasive plant removal projects anywhere in the Santa Ana River Watershed. SAWA’s manager was recognized by the California Invasive Plant Council for his leadership in developing environmentally preferred means of invasive plant removal and habitat registration. He also sits on a state advisory board dealing with integrated pest management plans.