The City and the California Coastal Commission approved permits for implementation of the Ellwood Mesa Well Abandonment Project in 2010. These permits authorized the City and the California Department of Conservation, Division of Oil Gas and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) to re-abandon three historic oil wells, destroy five idle water wells and a ground water monitoring well, and implement native grassland and wetland (vernal pool) restoration efforts on the Ellwood Mesa/Sperling Preserve. These efforts were required to address public safety concerns and to bring the property into compliance with State and local regulations.
The wells were re-abandoned in 2011. Habitat restoration followed and is now officially completed, achieving restoration success monitoring criteria. The last remaining feature of the project, the fence around a vernal pool (previously Doty Oil Well #5), was removed on Monday, May 21, 2018.