Sable and trainer Scott Reynolds investigate a storm drain at Salsipuedes and Cota Streets.

Meet Sable the Sewage-Sniffing Dog on June 9th

Meet Sable the Sewage-Sniffing Dog! Join the Creeks Division for "The Nose Knows," a FREE Community Forum on Wednesday, June 9th, 6-8pm at the Cabrillo Pavilion Arts Center, 1118 E. Cabrillo Blvd.
Scott and Karen Reynolds of Environmental Canine Services, LLC, will share their experience training Sable, the first dog to be trained to track sources of human waste in storm drains. Sable is a German Shepherd mix obtained from a shelter, and he has been trained to bark when he smells sewage or the surfactants used in laundry detergents.
The presentation will include a meet-and-greet with Sable, a demonstration, and information on the Creeks Division's ongoing research with Dr. Patricia Holden's lab at UCSB's Bren School. Informational booths will be provided by UCSB, SB Channelkeeper, the Urban Creeks Council, and more.
For details on the forum, please contact Liz Smith at (805) 897-2606.
For Dog Handlers and Storm Water Professionals, the Creeks Division will also be hosting a workshop on Canine Scent Tracking for Water Pollution on Tuesday, June 15th, 2-4pm at the Watershed Resource Center at Arroyo Burro Beach. For details, please contact Jill Murray at (805) 897-1911.
Canine scent tracking project funded in part by a grant the Water Environment Research Foundation (WERF).

25" Steelhead trout observed in Mission Creek in 2008.

Construction to Begin on Mission Creek Fish Passage Project

Mission Creek is considered the most viable stream for steelhead trout restoration within the City of Santa Barbara. In five of the last seven years, the endangered Southern California steelhead trout has been observed attempting to migrate and spawn in the lower section of Mission Creek.
Although steelhead are frequently seen in Mission Creek, they are unable to migrate upstream due to several significant barriers within the creek channel. The Creeks Division is working to remove three of these barriers, beginning with the Mission Creek Restoration and Fish Passage Project at the Tallant Road Bridge.
The Tallant Road Bridge is located at the upstream end of Oak Park, and currently has a large concrete grade control structure that extends downstream of the bridge approximately 80 feet. Due to the height and length of the grade control structure, fish passage upstream is considered almost impossible.
The fish passage design selected for the Tallant Road Bridge will replace the existing grade control structure with a series of large riffles and pools, and will include the installation of 1,500 native plants. Construction is scheduled to begin in July 2010 and to be completed in October 2010.
The Tallant Road Project will be followed by fish passage projects at the Caltrans Flood Control Channels and the Highway 192 Bridge, providing access to 3.9 miles of creek channel, including 2 miles of moderate to high quality spawning habitat. Construction on the upper Caltrans Channel, extending between Los Olivos and Pedregosa Streets, is scheduled to take place during the summer of 2011, along with the Highway 192 Bridge project. The lower Caltrans Channel project, extending between Arrellaga and Canon Perdido Streets, will be constructed during the summer of 2012.
For more information on fish passage projects, contact George Johnson at (805) 897-1958.

Creek clean-up volunteers at Sycamore Creek.

Thank You Volunteers!

The Creeks Division would like to thank the 500 volunteers who participated in the Looking Good Santa Barbara community clean-up day on Saturday, May 15th. Projects included graffiti removal, street tree planting, bridge painting, and more! 
The Creeks Division and Santa Barbara Channelkeeper led 15 creek clean-up volunteers, who removed 5 tires and several bags of trash from Sycamore Creek, and planted 30 native plants at a creek restoration site on Cacique Street. Another 12 volunteers cleaned and replaced 88 storm drain markers throughout the neighborhood.
For information on how to get involved in next year's Looking Good Santa Barbara clean-up, please contact Lorraine Cruz-Carpenter or visit

Newly Certified Clean Creeks Business
Join the Creeks Division in congratulating the following business taking important steps to protect creek and ocean water quality by becoming a Certified Clean Water Business!
Whole Foods Market
View the complete list of Certified Businesses online at
Polluted water enters a storm drain.
Report Water Pollution and Help Keep Our Creeks and Ocean Clean
Many people don't realize that it is illegal to let polluted water enter the streets, storm drains, and creeks. The Creeks Division receives daily calls to its Enforcement Hotline reporting illegal storm water runoff or illegal dumping.
What are people calling in to report? Common violations include dirty wash water from businesses, home improvement and construction site discharges (cement, plaster, dirt), dumping of paint and oil, and more.
Upon arriving on scene, staff provide education on strategies to prevent polluted runoff from entering waterways. If violatons continue, notices and fines are implemented.
To report storm drain/creek pollution, call the Creeks Division's hotline at (805) 897-2688.
City of Santa Barbara • PO Box 1990 • Santa Barbara, CA 93102
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