What We Have Done and Do
ON CODORNICES CREEK
- On Saturday, July 31st, seven enthusiastic Watershed Council members donned rubber boots and gloves and joined Josh Bradt of the City of Berkeley and Ann Chaney of the City of Albany to do a trash assessment and cleanup along the stretch of Codornices Creek from 2nd Street upstream to the railroad tracks.
Working in two teams along each bank of the creek, some wading in the creek and others staying high and dry on the banks, we counted types and locations of trash according to an “urban rapid trash assessment” protocol developed by the Santa Clara Valley Water District, which is being used throughout the Bay Area to survey trash “hotspots” as part of overall stormwater management activities by counties and cities. The protocol measures the amounts of different types of trash, such as plastic bags, bottles, Styrofoam, metal, etc., and whether it is within the creekbed or up on the banks.
We also did a survey of brand names for products we found, which was particularly interesting since we were surveying the area behind the Target store. Near the railroad tracks was a large accumulation of debris, including furniture and blankets, from an abandoned homeless encampment, which will be cleaned up by the cities.
Overall, we judged the stream reach to be relatively disturbed and “suboptimal” in spite of good riparian cover and potential habitat values. We picked up a total of 14 bags of trash (seven on the Albany side and seven on the Berkeley side), weighing approximately 400 lbs. The majority of items found were plastic bags and wrappers, followed by paper products and Styrofoam pellets.
We hope to have an ongoing presence in this area and plan to go back later in October to repeat the assessment in the creek reach above 5th Street. All in all, it was a very satisfying morning, and we felt we had definitely left the creek looking much improved. Thanks to everyone who joined in – it was a great team!
Berkeley All Storm Day
- On November 21st 2009, a beautiful sunny day, members of the Codornices
Creek Watershed Council and a number of student volunteers turned out in
force for the City of Berkeley's All Storm Day. We had 48 volunteers in
the Codornices watershed, clearing stormdrain inlets, raking fallen
leaves from the gutter into piles for street sweeping vehicles, filling
bags with leaves and debris for pick up, and stenciling "No Dumping"
messages onto storm drain inlets.
Volunteers were responsible for:
- 2.31 curb miles raked for Sweeper
- 24 debris bags filled
- 7 catch basins cleared
- 19 inlets cleaned
- 26 inlets stenciled
- 8 catch basins identified for Public Works follow-up
Besides feeling we had made a difference in keeping our streets and our
creek clean — it was a lot of fun!
Thank you to all who participated!
- The CCWC conducted tours in 2006 and 2007 to introduce community members and others to the various resources, amenities and projects of the Watershed. The tours involved carpooling to planned stops, where a speaker met us to teach and share about a topic of interest (example tour). Topics covered have included watershed archeological history, marsh birdlife, water quality, and creek restoration projects.
Native Plantings and Invasive Removal with Local Partners
- We have collaborated with local organizations on native plantings and invasive vegetation removal at creek restoration sites in the watershed. Most recently we partnered with the Urban Creeks Council at the newly-constructed restoration located at St. Mary's College High School.
- Thus far, we have hosted two highly reputable speakers to present at our events. In September 2007, Richard Schwartz, a local historian and author of "Eccentrics, Heroes, and Cutthroats of Old Berkeley", presented on the watershed in the 1800's. More recently, in March 2008, renowned speaker Bruce Riordan, who specializes on developing local solutions to global warming, spoke on the impacts of climate change to our water resources.
Coastal Cleanup Day
- The CCWC supported the City of Albany on Coastal Cleanup Day in their cleanup efforts at Albany Shoreline Park, nearby the mouth of Codornices Creek. We plan to continue our efforts to keep our watershed free of trash, toxic dumping, and others materials that degrade valuable habitat and the Creek's water quality.
Stream Bioengineering Workshop
- In March 2006, the Codornices Creek Watershed Council partnered with the Urban Creeks Council and the Waterways Restoration Institute to present a Stream Bioengineering Workshop to teach participants to use natural materials and non-structural techniques to combat soil erosion and restore creeks. Participants spent the day on hands-on demonstration projects on lower Codornices Creek and received a handbook on bioengineering techniques (see Reports and Data).
Keep an eye out for opportunities to participate in designing interpretive elements and a creekside outdoor, non-structural classroom for lower Codornices Creek!