Volunteers plant native plants at Mission Creek at Oak Park.

Creek Week is September 25th - October 3rd!

Creek Week is an annual community event celebrating our local creeks and the ocean with many local groups sponsoring events to help build awareness and stewardship of the natural treasures of Santa Barbara.
This year marks the 11th Annual Creek Week, which will kick off with the 26th Annual Coastal Cleanup Day on Saturday, September 25th. Events planned for the week include creek and beach cleanups, bird walks, restoration activities, water quality sampling, and more!
Walking Wednesdays Mission Creek Walk
Wednesday, September 29
Join COAST for a Walking Wednesdays tour of Mission Creek. Creeks Division staff will discuss the Mission Creek Fish Passage Projects, and the Mission Creek Lagoon and Laguna Channel Restoration Project. City Public Works staff will discuss the Lower Mission Creek Flood Control Project.
Please meet at the Garden Street parking lot on Cabrillo Boulevard, and we will take a bus to the starting location, then walk along Mission Creek back to the beach. Contact Courtney Dietz for details.
Mission Creek Planting at Oak Park
Thursday, September 30
9:30am – 12pm
Join the Creeks Division, Horny Toad Activewear, and the Santa Barbara County Youth Corps for a planting day at the Mission Creek Restoration and Fish Passage Project at Oak Park.
Gloves, tools, and refreshments will be provided. Please wear sturdy shoes! Meet at the Oak Park tennis courts parking lot. Contact Liz Smith at (805) 897-2606 for details.
For a complete list of Creek Week events, please visit www.sbcreekweek.com.

Absorbent booms and pads are placed in Old Mission Creek.

Old Mission Creek Oil Spill

On August 23rd, 2010, while conducting regular weekly creek sampling, Creeks Division staff noticed an oily sheen on the surface of the water flowing out of the Westside storm drain into Old Mission Creek at Bohnett Park. The oil collected at a dam-like structure about 500 feet downstream of the park, where staff placed absorbent booms, pillows, and pads. 
The oil was odorless and clear with a yellow tint, and the source was not found. Staff sent a sample of the oil to a lab for analysis, which showed high levels of petroleum hydrocarbons, but no polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Many petroleum oils contain PAHs, but lubrication oils like motor oil and hydraulic oil have PAHs removed before being sold.  
The Creeks Division received a Pollution Removal Funding Authorization from the US Coast Guard and Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) National Response Team, and contracted with Advanced Cleanup Technologies, Inc. (ACTI) to remove the oil from the creek. An EPA representative, who arrived to conduct a report of the spill and recovery effort, concluded that the oil appeared to be hydraulic oil.
Staff from the City’s Water Resources Division opened two upstream fire hydrants for a short time to flush residual oil out of the storm drain pipes to the collection point, where ACTI’s crew recovered the oil with a vacuum truck and absorbent materials. Oil also had to be recovered from an oil/water separator and filters in the Summer Urban Runoff Facility (SURF), an underground facility that treats storm drain water with filtration and Ultra-Violet (UV) Light before it flows to the creek in Bohnett Park.
While the cleanup effort was considered a success, it is important that we all do our part to help protect our creeks and the ocean. A single quart of motor oil can pollute 250,000 gallons of water!
  • Properly maintain your vehicle, and repair auto leaks as soon as they are detected.
  • NEVER pour oil or other auto fluids in the streets, storm drains, or creeks.
  • Recycle used motor oil by taking it to an authorized auto parts store, gas station, or hazardous waste collection center.
  • Report pollution to our creeks and storm drains by calling the Enforcement Hotline at (805) 897-2688.

Schedule a Field Trip to the Watershed Resource Center!

The Creeks Division contracts with Art From Scrap’s Green Schools program to provide youth watershed education for students in the City of Santa Barbara.
FREE field trips to the Watershed Resource Center at Arroyo Burro Beach are available for students K-12, and can be tailored to your group’s age or class objectives. Students will learn about the importance of our local watersheds, what they can do to protect our creeks and ocean, and the trip includes a beach cleanup.
The three-part Creek Kids series is available for grades 4-6, and includes two in-class presentations and a half-day field trip to the Watershed Resource Center. Students will learn about plastic marine debris, sources of water pollution, and what they can do to help improve water quality.
Contact Lindsay Johnson at Art From Scrap to schedule a field trip or in-class presentation, 884-0459 x16.

Mission Creek Lagoon
Community Meeting - Mission Creek Lagoon and Laguna Channel Restoration Project
The Creeks Division invites you to attend a community meeting to provide input and discuss the conceptual plans to restore Mission Creek Lagoon and the Laguna Channel.
Thursday, September 16th
Chase Palm Park Center
236 E. Cabrillo Boulevard.
The purpose of the meeting is to solicit input from City residents and other community members on the proposed project.
For more information on the project, please contact George Thomson at (805) 560-7576.
City TV staff film a PSA for the Creeks Division.
Pollution Prevention Week Video Contest
What if everyone ... took one small action to reduce their environmental impact?
For the 20th anniversary of the Pollution Prevention Act and in celebration of National Pollution Prevention Week (September 20 - 27), the California Department of Toxic Substances Control and the Western Sustainability and Pollution Prevention Network are asking everyday people just like you to make a short video that shows how making small changes in our daily lives can have a big, positive impact on the environment. 
For more information, rules on submissions, and potential topics, please visit www.dtsc.ca.gov.
City of Santa Barbara • PO Box 1990 • Santa Barbara, CA 93102
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