January 2008
January Creeks News & Events

Creeks Division Welcomes New Employees

George Thomson is the new Creeks Planner.  He studied plant and ecosystem ecology as a UCSB undergraduate and graduate student and while studying abroad at the University of Tasmania in Australia. Before coming to the City's Creeks Division, George worked at UCSB's Center for Ecological Restoration where he designed, installed, and monitored wetland restoration and storm water quality improvement projects.  An avid naturalist, George takes a holistic approach to the restoration and stewardship of Santa Barbara watersheds. 

Jill Sarick Santos is the new Creeks Outreach Coordinator.  She started on December 10th.  Jill has over eleven years of experience working in community-based education and outreach programs which she acquired while living and working in the Lake Tahoe Basin.  She has worked for the Nevada Tahoe Conservation District, Adopt-A-Watershed, and Incline Village WASTE NOT Conservation Program among others.  She has a BS Degree from West Virginia University in Parks and Recreation Management with a Wildlife Resources Minor.  She is a Master Gardener, is fluent in Spanish and has also taught a college-level course on local government and citizen participation.  Jill brings enthusiasm for community-based approach to watershed stewardship. 

Technical Guidance Manual Workshop on January 9th

The City of Santa Barbara is kicking off a very important project.  Please join us to discuss the production of the City's Technical Guidance Manual for Post Construction Storm Water Management at Chase Palm Park Center at 236 E. Cabrillo Blvd., Wednesday, January 9, 2008 starting at 5:30 PM.

Controlling urban runoff pollution from new development after construction is critical for the protection of creek and ocean water quality. The goal of the Manual will be to minimize runoff pollution typically caused by land development by employing a sensible combination of pollutant source control and site-specific treatment control measures.

The primary objective of the Manual will be to guide City land development staff, design engineers, architects, contractors, and property owners to design and implement proper post construction storm water management and treatment methods. These methods include bioswales, infiltration basins, dry wells, grass filter strips, cisterns, etc. The Manual will ultimately serve as a design requirement for public and private development and redevelopment projects and complies with implementation of the City’s Storm Water Management Program (SWMP).

For more information please call Autumn Malanca at 805-897-1910. 

Santa Barbara Creeks

Creeks Advisory Committee to Consider Storm Water Management at Golf Course

The next Creeks Advisory Committee will be held jointly with the Golf Advisory Committee on January 16th, 2008 at David Gebhard Public Meeting Room at 630 Garden Street.  The meeting will start at 5:30 pm.  On the Agenda will be a discussion of proposed designs regarding storm water management activities that could be proposed for the Golf Course.  For more information call 805-897-2658 or email George Thomson at GThomson@SantaBarbaraCA.gov

Storms Bring Rain and Ash to Santa Barbara

The recent storms brought approximately three inches downtown and over 7 inches San Marcos Pass.   Both storms combined, it is the most significant rain fall we've seen since the Zaca Fire.  City Creeks Division staff went out in the field during the storms capturing samples at various locations as well as retrieving data from existing sites.  Samples taken at various locations during the storms over the holiday break showed no significant increase in pollutants of concern as a result of recent fires, specifically metals. 

Winter storms may be of greater concern for area water resource specialists after the Zaca Fire.  Denuded slopes, severely scorched and compacted soils and the lack of vegetation may contribute to an increase in storm water run-off that will likely carry sediments and other pollutants downstream. 

A recent U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) found that runoff from residential wildfires can harm aquatic species.   The study of ash and soil samples from the wildfires in Southern California last November suggests that metals in the ash may create health and environmental problems.   However, the study focused on an area where there was dense urban development and mine tailings, whereas the Zaca Fire occurred primarily in an undeveloped wilderness.   The research was conducted as part of the USGS Southern California Multi-Hazards Demonstration Project. (Science News, December 17, 2007).

For more information on what to do during winter rain storms or how to prevent storm water run-off and/or pollution contact the Creeks Division at 805-897-2658 or go online to www.sbcreeks.com.

How to Prevent Water Pollution

We often take water for granted.  But it's a precious resource that without it, we could not survive.  About 97% of the earth is covered by salty or otherwise undrinkable water.  Another 2% is frozen in ice caps and glaciers.  The remaining 1% is then is all we have for humanity and wildlife.  This includes agricultural, residential, manufacturing, navigation and personal use.  There are many factors which affect the quality and quantity of water available to us: population growth, development, drought, even global climate change.   Here at the Creeks Division, our goal is to prevent storm water pollution to protect and enhance creek and ocean health.  We are all part of the solution and there are many simple things you can do.  

Did you know that whatever you dump or spray on or around your property can eventually make its way into a storm drain and then to a creek or directly reach the ocean?  Maintain good practices around the house or at work.  Never dump oil or detergents down the storm drain.  Always pick up litter and pet waste.  And read the instructions when using pesticides and fertilizers.  Only apply what's necessary and don't over-water your lawn.  

The ocean really does begin at your front door. 

For more information on what you can do to prevent storm water pollution go to www.sbcreeks.com.   

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