The RCD has projects underway or recently completed in several Contra Costa watersheds. It is active
in building watershed awareness throughout the county.
East County Delta Drainages and the Kellogg and Brushy Creek Watersheds,
an RCD watershed resource specialist worked with landowners to develop
beneficial management practices (BMPs) to reduce polluted runoff from agricultural
The Pinole Creek Watershed -
Lower Pinole Creek Steelhead Habitat Assessment (July 2009)
The CCRCD obtained funding from the Contra Costa County Fish and Wildlife Committee and contracted with Hagar Environmental Science and Pacific Biology to conduct a Steelhead Habitat and Mapping project through the incorporated portion of Pinole Creek (Lower Pinole Creek). This study measured the quantity and quality of steelhead habitat present in Pinole Creek in the lower watershed and was in partnership with 7the East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD) which completed an identical habitat mapping protocol on Pinole Creek through their property in the upper watershed as part of their East Bay Habitat Conservation Plan (Upper Pinole Creek Watershed Salmonid Habitat Assessment). These two analogous surveys provide the scientific data which is key to obtaining funding for construction of a fish passage improvement project at the I-80 culverts which are the only total fish barrier in Pinole Creek.
Pinole Creek is an historical Steelhead/Rainbow Trout stream and steelhead, now a threatened species, have occasionally been observed in recent years struggling to swim upstream in search of spawning habitat. However, the 360 foot long I-80 double box culverts located 1 ½ miles upstream from San Pablo Bay have been identified as a depth and flow barrier to migration. Since these culverts present the only total fish barrier in Pinole Creek, improving fish passage through these large cement structures would allow steelhead to reach good habitat in the upper watershed and improve the potential for successful spawning. The CCRCD has applied for several grants to fund the design and implementation of techniques such as baffles and weirs to enable fish migration through the I-80 culverts. The Coastal Conservancy and the US Fish and Wildlife Service have provided funds for design work. The CCRCD, with assistance from its partners, has applied for a grant from the California Department of Fish and Game (CDFG) Fisheries Restoration Grant Program to fund the construction. Several organizations such as EBMUD, the Friends of Pinole Creek Watershed, the Contra Costa County Flood Control District, the City of Pinole, and consultants are supporting this project. Many experts believe that Pinole Creek has the best potential in our county for re-establishing a sustainable population of native steelhead trout which would help to restore the genetic diversity and viability of the species.
Pavon Creeks Assessment - As a follow up to the Pinole Creek Sediment Study, the San Francisco Estuary Institute (SFEI) worked with the Contra Costa RCD, NRCS, and the East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD) during the 2005-2006 wet season to complete an assessment of the Pavon Creeks sub-basin, a tributary to Pinole Creek to determine the causes of erosion in this sub-basin. These tributaries to Pinole Creek have been identified as the single largest point source of sediment in the watershed. The purpose of the assessment is to gain a better understanding of the processes and rates occurring within the sub-basin so that the stakeholders and land managers can make more informed decisions regarding current and future management of this area. The final report is now available online in PDF format at http://www.sfei.org/sites/default/files/WS515_PavonCreek_FinalReport.pdf.pdf
Rodeo Creek Watershed Assessment for Bankfull Channel Geometry –
the RCD and NRCS partnered with the Restoration Design Group to assess the bankfull channel geometry
of Rodeo Creek at various locations within the watershed. This study contributed to the restoration
design for the Muir Heritage Land Trust’s Fernandez Ranch portion of Rodeo Creek and also provided a watershed overview. Please contact Carol Arnold at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
A county-wide watershed signage program was implemented in 2004-2005,
with the RCD taking a lead role. The goal of this project is to build awareness
of our creeks and watersheds by identifying them with attractive signs on
trails and roadways.
The RCD has sponsored citizen groups in five watersheds.
(See RCD sponsored watershed groups below.)
Alhambra Creek Watershed,
Kirker Creek Watershed
Marsh Creek Watershed
Mt. Diablo Creek Watershed
Rodeo Creek Watershed
RCD sponsored watershed groups and contacts:
Alhambra Watershed Council (AWC) - This stakeholder
group published a watershed plan in April of 2001. Since then the Council has been implementing projects and advancing the goals of this watershed plan. Activities include monthly meetings, outreach, restoration
and stewardship. for more information on AWC, go to our Alhambra Watershed page or contact Mary Grim at email@example.com
Kirker Creek Watershed Advisory Group - The RCD sponsored this group from 2001-2007, and assisted in the development and publication of a watershed plan in January 2004. The group now meets independently on an ad-hoc basis to develop
and implement projects. For more information contact Laura Wright (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Mitch Schweikert (email@example.com)
Partners for the Watershed - A group of educators and
members of local government and industry who carry out stewardship and environmental
education projects in the Kirker Creek Watershed.
For information on the two groups above, contact Laura Wright (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Mitch Schweikert (email@example.com).
Friends of Marsh Creek Watershed (FOMCW)- Join this
community group to help us identify activities, issues and projects to
protect and restore the lower Marsh Creek Watershed. (Focusing in Brentwood
and Oakley, downstream of the Marsh Creek Dam). Contact Diane Burgis at firstname.lastname@example.org
Mount Diablo Creek Watershed Planning Group – Has developed a watershed management plan that addresses the interests of diverse stakeholders in the watershed. Contact Carol Arnold at email@example.com.
Partners for the Rodeo Creek Watershed - The watershed stewardship group created the Rodeo Creek Vision Plan in 2008, and are now implementing projects outlined in the Vision Plan. Activities include monthly meetings, restoration projects, GPS monitoring, trash assessments and creek cleanups and events. For more information on the RCW please contact Heidi Petty at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Local Weather Data Available Online from the CIMIS Network
Farmers, golf courses, and landscape maintenance professionals can fine-tune
irrigation to local weather conditions using weather data online. The
Contra Costa RCD maintains a weather station in Brentwood that is part
of the CA Department of Water Resources' CIMIS network. Other Contra Costa
agencies maintain weather stations in Walnut Creek and Concord. You can
view and download data for these stations, and stations state-wide, at
Range and Natural Resources Camp - held annually during the 3rd week of June
- at Elkus Ranch, Half Moon Bay
Contra Costa RCD provides a scholarship for one high school student from Contra Costa County each year to attend the annual Range and Natural Resources Camp at Elkus Ranch near Half Moon
Bay. Students spend a week sleeping in tent cabins and learning
about watershed ecology and practical land management skills such as plant identification,
wildlife conservation, livestock management, wildfire issues, and range analysis and improvement.
Mail to: CCRCD, 5552 Clayton Road, Concord, CA 94521
Field Days and Workshops
Healthy Horses, Healthy Land, Healthy Watersheds - DVD Available!
The Contra Costa RCD hosted a 6 hour workshop for horsekeeping facilities on management of pastures, paddocks, drainage, mud and manure. It also included information on plants that are toxic to horses and local invasive weeds. To order the workshop DVD contact Mary Grim
Rangeland Weed Identification and Management - DVD Available!
Although Contra Costa County is blessed with much open land, weeds infestations can render this land useless for wildlife and dangerous for livestock. The RCD held two workshops on early detection and management of the top weeds of concern for Contra Costa County. To order a DVD of the 2008 workshop on ID and Mangement of Rangeland Weeds, Contact Mary Grim
The weed workshops were funded mostly by a grant from the CALFED Watershed Program and organized collaboratively by the Contra Costa RCD, the Contra Costa Department of Agriculture and UC Cooperative Extension.
Workshop on Maintenance of Ranch Roads and Fire Trails held 2006
The Contra Costa RCD, NRCS and Contra Costa Fire Protection District
recently held a half-day workshop for ranchers to learn
more about the fire trail maintenance program and to exchange ideas with
fire trail program staff about ranch road management. Ranchers had the opportunity to meet the fire trail management program’s staff, learn about the Fire Trail Program and learn how to prevent or manage erosion problems. Thanks
to the USDA-NRCS (Natural Resources Conservation Service) for funding this
If you missed the workshop but would like information on these topics or an on-site consultation
at your property, contact the RCD and NRCS office at 925-672-6522 x102.
Healthy Horses, Healthy Land, Healthy Watersheds DVD
Horsekeeping facilities both large and small, can benefit from this searchable 5 hr. DVD of a workshop on management of pastures, paddocks, drainage, mud and manure. It also includes a talk on plants that are toxic to horses and local invasivev weeds. To order the DVD contact Mary Grim
Rangeland Weed Identification and Management DVD
This 6 hour, searchable DVD covers "ID of local problem weeds" (with full screen close-up photos), "which herbicides are effective on which weeds", "grazing management for range improvement;" and "best practices for preventing the spread of weeds." To order a DVD of the 2008 workshop on ID and Mangement of Rangeland Weeds, Contact Mary Grim
Yellow Starthistle: Managing an Invasive Alien Species - VHS Video
With support from Contra Costa RCD, Leif Joslyn of Xenobiota Xposures completed an instructional video on yellow starthistle control
methods. CCRCD is pleased
to have had a role in creating this new production. Funding for the video
was provided by an EQIP Educational grant from NRCS as well as donations
from California Department of Food and Agriculture, California Department
of Parks and Recreation, Dow Elanco, and the California Native Plant Society.
There are two versions of the video. The 26-minute version of the video
covers yellow starthistle's history, biology, and several control methods,
and is suitable for a general audience. For those who want more information,
the 50-minute version has additional interviews with California's leading
experts on yellow starthistle and delves into the broader issue of the
threat of invasive species to California's biodiversity.
The video and can be viewed at the offices of Contra Costa RCD, borrowed
for presentation to groups, or purchased from Leif Joslyn. To purchase
the video, call Mr. Joslyn at (510) 524-3031. For more information about
his other videos, visit Xenobiota