Community Invited to Volunteer Storm Drain Marking Event Saturday, January 31
Join the Creeks Division and the Watershed Stewards Program (WSP) for a volunteer storm drain marking event on Saturday, January 31!
Help us replace old, damaged, plastic storm drain markers with shiny new metal ones throughout the City - volunteer 9am-11am and/or 11am-1pm.
Harmful Pesticide Found in Creek Water Samples
Last year the Creeks Division made the startling discovery that one of the neonicotinoid pesticides, imidacloprid, was getting into our local creeks during storm events (view our October 2014 "Inside Santa Barbara" segment on neonics here or click on the image above).
Follow up testing did not show any imidacloprid during the summer. Unfortunately, tests during recent storms showed imidacloprid in all four of our major creeks (Arroyo Burro, Mission Creek, Laguna Creek, and Sycamore Creek).
Samples of runoff were also collected directly from urban sidewalks and streets, and they also contained imidacloprid. All samples had very low concentrations of this pesticide, but the results are still concerning.
Neonicotinoids (“neonics”) are of great concern because of their toxicity to pollinators in agricultural practices. However, researchers in Europe have also shown that there can be a problem in streams and creeks.
At low concentrations, even if no immediate toxicity is caused, this neurotoxin can lead to lower insect populations in streams, and even cause reduced bird populations because there is less insect food available.
Imidacloprid can be found in many home and garden products, including insecticides, flea and tick treatments, and “all-in-one” lawn and plant products.
What can you do? Use organic products and gardening techniques whenever possible (for pesticide alternatives visit www.ourwaterourworld.org), and be careful about treating areas where runoff can wash pesticides into the gutter and storm drain. Remember, if it’s toxic to pests, it’s also toxic to the “good bugs” in our gardens and creeks!
What else is the Creeks Division doing? We will continue testing during storm events, and we are also applying for a grant to work with researchers at UCSB to figure out how much of a problem this pesticide may pose in coastal creeks and estuaries.
Help us Close the Poop Loop!
The Creeks Division is partnering with the County of Santa Barbara and the Cities of Buellton, Carpinteria, Goleta, Guadalupe, Lompoc, Santa Maria, and Solvang to "Close the Poop Loop" Countywide.
The average dog produces 1/2 lb. of waste every day. With an estimated 22,500 dogs in the City of Santa Barbara, that's over 5.5 TONS of poop every day!
When pet waste is left on the ground, it can quickly wash into storm drains, creeks, and the ocean, polluting our water. If you think picking it up is gross, try swimming in it!
Pledge to pick up after your furry friend every time at www.closethepooploop.org, and you'll receive a cute little keychain flashlight to help with scooping the poop on those nighttime dog walks. |
Newly Certified Clean Creeks Businesses
Thank You Cate School Volunteers
On Wednesday, January 28, a group of students from Cate School in Carpinteria joined the Creeks Division for a beach clean-up and storm drain marking event along the waterfront!
The small but hard working group of 14 students and instructors spent three hours removing litter and debris from East Beach and West Beach, and installed nearly 80 new storm drain markers along East and West Cabrillo Boulevard.