The Ventura County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to appropriate more than $80,000 to move the remains of 16 Chumash Indians from an ancient burial ground in a flood-control channel near Point Mugu and rebury them in Thousand Oaks.
The board acted after federal officials warned that the county would lose $785,000 in federal flood control aid unless it moved to protect the Indian bones from being washed out to sea when the runoff from seasonal rains begins flowing through the channel, officials said.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency said in a letter to the board last week that the county will not receive reimbursement for work on the Calleguas Creek flood-control channel unless the cemetery is evacuated and the remains are reburied in accordance with federal regulations on the treatment of Indian burials.
The board voted 3 to 2 to spend $80,720 to hire archeologists from California State University, Northridge, who will determine how many Indians are buried at the site.
The money will also cover the expense of reburying the skeletons of 16 Chumash Indians that were found in a routine archeological inspection of the area in July, said Supervisor Edwin A. Jones, who supported the action.