Metropolitan is an active participant in efforts to preserve and enhance natural habitat and to improve watershed management and restoration.
Southwestern Riverside Reserve
Metropolitan was involved with the creation of The Southwestern Riverside County Multi-Species Reserve, established in 1992 and California's first agreement for multi-species protection. The reserve provides mitigation for impacts and protects over 30 sensitive plant and animal species. Habitats include shrub, grassland and riparian communities, and pristine groves of oak woodlands. The reserve includes 9,000 acres surrounding and connecting Diamond Valley Lake with Lake Skinner via the 2,500-acre Dr. Roy Shipley Reserve, which Metropolitan purchased as partial mitigation for DVL construction. Subsequent acquisitions have resulted in a nearly 13,500-acre reserve.
Metropolitan partners with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Riverside County Regional Park and Open-Space District, and Riverside County Habitat Conservation Agency to continue management of the Multi-Species Reserve.
Shipley Reserve, which connects Diamond Valley Lake with Lake Skinner, is home to at least eight types of habitat and up to 16 sensitive bird, animal and plant species. Three types of habitat dominate: Riverside coastal sage scrub, non-native grasslands and chaparral. Smaller habitats include: coast live oak woodland, southern willow scrub and live oak, and cottonwood willow riparian forests.
Santa Rosa Plateau Reserve
The Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Reserve, established in 1991, required innovative preservation partnerships involving The Nature Conservancy, Metropolitan, Riverside County Regional Park and Open-Space District, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and California Department of Fish and Wildlife. Preserved lands include 3,100 acres originally purchased by TNC in 1984 and 3,700 acres of additional land that was purchased in 1991, with Metropolitan's assistance as partial mitigation for construction of Diamond Valley Lake.
Lake Mathews Reserve
The Lake Mathews Multiple Species Reserve, established in 1995, added 2,545 acres to the existing 2,565-acre State Ecological Reserve surrounding the lake to create a 5,110-acre preservation area that is managed for native habitat types and 65 sensitive plant and animal species. Similar to the Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Reserve and Southwestern Riverside County Multi-Species Reserve, the Lake Mathews Reserve was created and managed through important ongoing partnerships among Metropolitan, Riverside County Habitat Conservation Agency, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and California Department of Fish and Wildlife.