About CCRCD Watersheds, News & Events

Welcome to the CCRCD’s Watershed Program Blog!

Welcome to the CCRCD’s Watershed Program Blog! Here, we will let you know about upcoming events, and we’ll post watershed-related news, resources, and project updates. We’ll share images and ideas that inspire us to work hard every day to preserve the natural resources of Contra Costa County. We think they’ll inspire you, too!


A watershed can be small, such as a modest inland lake or a single county. Conversely, some watersheds encompass thousands of square miles and may contain streams, rivers, lakes, reservoirs, and underlying groundwater that are hundreds of miles inland. The largest watershed in the United States is the Mississippi River Watershed, which drains 1.15 million square miles from all or parts of 31 U.S. states and two Canadian provinces stretching from the Rockies to the Appalachians!

Water from hundreds, and often thousands, of creeks and streams flow from higher ground to rivers that eventually wind up in a larger waterbody. As the water flows, it often picks up pollutants, which may have sinister effects on the ecology of the watershed and, ultimately, on the reservoir, bay, or ocean where it ends up. Not all water flows directly to the sea, however. When rain falls on dry ground, it can soak into, or infiltrate, the ground. This groundwater remains in the soil, where it will eventually seep into the nearest stream. Some water infiltrates much deeper, into underground reservoirs called aquifers.

Watersheds & Water Needs Assessment

Alhambra Creek Watershed

Alhambra Creek is a stream in Contra Costa County, in the East Bay region of the ​San Francisco Bay Area in northern California.
Learn more about :

Alhambra Creek Watershed
The Alhambra Native Plant Trail
Partner: Alhambra Watershed Council
Partner: Friends of Alhambra Creek

Bay Point, Pittsburg, and Antioch
Water Needs Assessment

Our goal is to understand and assess water-related issues and challenges at the neighborhood level, from the community’s perspective. (Information is available in English and Spanish)
Learn more about :

Community Outreach
The goals of the program
How to get involved

Carquinez Watershed

The Carquinez Strait is a narrow tidal strait in northern California.
Learn more about :

Carquinez Watershed Council
Carquinez Recover the Waterfront Committee
Community Vision Plan
Partner: The Bull Valley Agricultural Center
Partner: Carquinez Regional Environmental Education Center (CREEC)

Peyton Slough Watershed

The Peyton Slough watershed is composed of urban Peyton Creek and some minor tributaries, managed runoff from the Shell Oil Refinery, urban runoff, as well as drainage from portions of I-680.
Learn more about :

Peyton Slough Wetlands Advisory Committee

Pinole Creek Watershed

The Pinole Creek Watershed covers approximately 15 square miles in the north-west part of Contra Costa County.
Learn more about :

Pinole Creek Fish Passage Project
Pinole Creek Watershed Vision Plan
Partner: Friends of Pinole Creek Watershed

Rodeo Creek Watershed

The Rodeo Creek Watershed is located in Western Contra Costa County. Interstate 80 and Highway 4 pass through the watershed. The Cities of Hercules and Pinole are directly to the south and the community of Crockett is to the north.
Learn more about :

Rodeo Creek Watershed Vision Planning Group
Jurisdiction Maps

Introducing our Watershed team!

Heidi Petty



Heidi Petty

Skills: Watershed management and coordination, grant writing, fundraising, events.

Fun Fact: Owns a marina, small urban farm, and a Scottish Highlander cattle ranch in the Delta.  Loves music and silly hats!

Heidi Petty

Heidi Petty has been with the CCRCD since 2007. Her current position is Watershed Program Manager and Fundraising Coordinator, focusing on the Contra Costa side of the Carquinez Strait shoreline. In 1999, Heidi started a small bonsai and custom saltwater reef tank business named ‘Through the Looking Glass: A Living Art Studio’ in Crockett, CA, where she got an in-depth understanding of saltwater filtration and hydrology. Heidi has held numerous community leadership positions in the Crockett, Port Costa, and Rodeo area, including President of the local Chamber of Commerce and Board Member on the Crockett Community Services District. Her entrepreneurialism and government service background makes her a valuable asset to the RCD as a special government district. 

 She now lives on the river in Oakley, CA, and owns a marina and small urban farm as well as a 28-acre Highlander Cattle Ranch in the SF Delta. She is excited to expand her work by partnering with the technology industry to create innovative ways to help the environment through long-term partnerships and connecting tech to her restoration work.

Elissa Robinson



Elissa Robinson

Skills: Regional planning, facilitation, JEDI training, conference & event planning, and GIS.

Fun Fact: Loves the north coast, enthusiastic hiker, beach bum.

Lifegoals:  Building a personal library, visiting every national park, writing a travel guide to northern California.

Elissa Robinson

Elissa grew up exploring the natural spaces in the Bay Area. She grew up in Pittsburg, but roams widely and considers herself a regional expert from Walnut Creek to Discovery Bay. She has experience in a number of fields, including time in the Department of Fair Employment and Housing. She obtained a B.S. in Natural Resource Planning & Interpretation Humboldt State University in 2010, with extensive coursework in critical race, gender and sexuality studies.

Elissa has spent the past 9 years working in the watersheds of Contra Costa County; she was with the Contra Costa County Flood Control District for 4 years prior to joining the CCRCD staff in 2016. She coordinates regional watershed groups including the Contra Costa Watershed Forum, Walnut Creek Watershed Council, and Friends of Marsh Creek, and conducted a water needs assessment for disadvantaged communities in eastern Contra Costa County. In her free time, Elissa serves on the East Bay Regional Park District Advisory Committee, as a Planning Commissioner for the City of Pittsburg, reads, and explores our regional, State, and National parks.

Lisa Anich



Lisa Anich

Skills: Outreach, education, hydrology, monitoring, and data analysis.

Fun Fact: As the volunteer membership coordinator for Mount Diablo Interpretive Association, Lisa has sincerely thanked MDIA supporters almost 2,400 times since 2013.

Lisa Anich

Lisa moved to Contra Costa County in 1999 and has had the opportunity to work with the CCRCD-supported community groups in Marsh Creek, Kirker Creek, Mt Diablo Creek, Walnut Creek, Alhambra Creek and Pinole Creek Watersheds. She enjoys collaborations with students and interns, especially water quality monitoring projects, and has taught environmental education programs for The Lindsay Wildlife Experience and Contra Costa Water District.

Lisa also provides data analysis for Hydrocomp, Inc.’s streamflow forecasting model which helps agencies in California and the Pacific Northwest improve reservoir operations.

Lisa holds a B.S. in Geology and an M.S. in Water Resources Engineering from Stanford University.

Lisa Damerel



Lisa Damerel

Skills: Horticulture, invasive plant removal, CA native plants & animals, grant writing

Fun Fact: Lisa was a Girl Scout throughout elementary and middle school. Lisa climbed to the summit of Huayna Picchu and visited the Peruvian rainforest in 2016.

Lisa Damerel

Lisa is from Los Angeles, CA. She has a BA with Honors in English from the University of California at Berkeley and a Professional Sequence in Editing certificate from UC Berkeley Extension. She worked in publishing for 10 years, primarily editing educational materials including science textbooks and curricula. Her passion for nature led her back to school to study horticulture at Diablo Valley College where she earned a Nursery Technician certificate. She joined the CCRCD’s staff in January 2019. She likes hiking with friends and family, eating chocolate, creating beautiful things, and rooting for the Oakland A’s.