Mission Canyon Restoration Project

Mission Canyon Stream Restoration Project

Southern California Edison’s Stream Restoration Project is aimed at repairing and restoring the environment in Mission Canyon.  

In 2019, road grading and vegetation management by SCE crews generated unintended environmental damages. This work was conducted as part of SCE’s regular maintenance of the Mission Canyon access road to ensure crews can safely reach electrical infrastructure that serves the Santa Barbara community. SCE deeply regrets that a breakdown in our processes led to this incident.  

Our Commitment

Our priority is the safety of our customers, team members and the communities we serve. Our commitment to safety and the environment is at the core of the Stream Restoration Project.  

We are committed to completing all remediation work and restoring impacted areas of Mission Canyon to pre-2019 habitat and stream conditions.  

Upon its completion, the Stream Restoration Project will result in:

  • Removal of rocks and debris
  • Restoration of stream hydrology, habitats and ecosystems
  • Stabilization of creek banks and slopes
  • Remediation of impacted trees and woodland areas
  • Rehabilitation of sensitive species populations

Environmental Review 

SCE is complying with all environmental permitting requirements and is coordinating with the City and County of Santa Barbara, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board and U.S. Army Corp of Engineers. 

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife conducted an environmental review of the Stream Restoration Project as lead agency under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). The Mission Canyon Stream Habitat Restoration Project Draft Mitigated Negative Declaration (SCH# 2024020190) is available for public review via CDFW’s website: The public comment period closed on March 21, 2024. 

Project Status

Construction for the Stream Restoration Project is projected to begin in 2024 and will take as much as six months to complete. The construction period is weather dependent, subject to change and may be completed in one or more phases.  

Tunnel Trail Closure:

Construction will require a temporary closure of lower Tunnel Trail from the Inspiration Point trailhead at the top of Tunnel Road. A temporary full closure is necessary to preserve public and employee safety during the construction period. 

Tunnel Trail Closure Map

In progress:

  • The Stream Restoration Project is pending necessary permits and regulatory authorizations. Construction work is anticipated to begin after the Memorial Day holiday.  

Completed to date:

  • Emergency site stabilization, including erosion control and clearing rocks and debris to allow safe passage on the road and trail.
  • Road repairs, including repairing the road surface, berms and drains, removing loose rock and remediating 96 native trees. 

Printable Advisory: Mission Canyon Stream Restoration Project

Public Safety

During the Stream Restoration Project, please note the following safety guidelines:

  • Adhere to all instructions from safety personnel near the construction site.
  • Pay attention to posted signage.
  • All warning signs and channelizers have reflective properties to warn motorists and pedestrians.
  • Construction will not impede safe access to nearby streets and driveways.
  • Pedestrian access to nearby residential properties will not be affected due to construction.

Recreation Resources

Santa Barbara County is home to a wide range of public trails and open recreational amenities. No other front country trails in the area will be closed due to the Stream Restoration Project construction work on lower Tunnel trail.

Public Information about recreational trails and opportunities may be found here: 

Contact Us  

We remain committed to working with the Santa Barbara community, as well as our county and agency partners. Questions about the Stream Restoration Project may be directed to our Mission Canyon SCE information line at 805-654-7223.