When the Devereux Slough breached, the resident director of the University of California, Santa Barbara Nature Reserve System at Coal Oil Point Reserve, was there to capture if with her camera.
Cristina Sandoval said it only happens once or twice a year. She said a huge amount of water started rushing to the ocean around 7 a.m. on Monday.
The strong flow lasted for several hours. Snowy plovers and sandpipers seemed to enjoy the mud flats left at low tide.
Matthew Kimura and other UCSB students walked down the beach to see the breach.
“I’ve been out here a couple of times, but I’ve never seen this. It’s a pretty cool experience,” said Kimura.
Mark Sherman of Goleta said it was dry in the slough from the drought. He said it looked like a dust bowl until now.
Signs are posted to keep people from wading into the water due to logs and debris. The area is known for endangered species including tidewater goby.
Sandoval said that tidewater goby is the kind of fish that can adapt to salty water and fresh water. The slough can be salty due to trapped ocean water or fill up with fresh water from rain.
The activity caused by the breach may not last long, so now is a good time for nature lovers to visit.