Watershed Report’s Lifespan Just Beginning

Katherine Pease, Heal the Bay’s Watershed Scientist, reflects on publishing and presenting Stream Team data from the Malibu Creek Watershed to the public.

Last week we received a box containing the much-anticipated and limited print copies of the Malibu Creek Watershed report. Holding the weighty report —140 pages! — in hand was extremely satisfying knowing all the hard work that was put into its creation over the last 15 years.

Despite that satisfaction, we also know that with the completion of this physical report only begins the next steps in its lifespan. We don’t want the report to sit on a shelf and gather dust or be downloaded and never examined. Our goal for the report is to share our findings far and wide and to use it to enact positive change.

We kicked off the process Tuesday night at a public workshop about the report. We saw an amazing turnout (over 80 people)! Clearly the topic resonated among community members who are actively engaged in protecting this watershed.

All in all, it was a great evening at National Park Service’s Diamond X Ranch in the Santa Monica Mountains. Sarah Sikich (Heal the Bay’s Coastal Resources Director), Shelley Luce (Santa Monica Bay Restoration Commission’s Executive Director), and I  presented the major findings and recommendations of the report along with ways for the public to get involved. A question and answer panel followed the presentation and two of our dedicated Stream Team volunteers joined us for that.

Attendees also had the chance to visit informational booths hosted by organizations working in the watershed and greater Santa Monica Mountains, including Mountains Restoration Trust, Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, LA Waterkeeper, California Wildlife Center, Malibu Creek State Park Docents, Santa Monica Bay Restoration Commission & Foundation, and California Native Plant Society.

Moving forward, we will continue the watershed monitoring we’ve been conducting since 1998. If you’re interested in participating in monthly water quality monitoring, we will be training Stream Team volunteers (pictured here) on May 11, 2013 – please apply online.

We will also be meeting and working with the public, stakeholders, public officials, and decision-makers to begin to advance implementation of some of our recommendations. Some great ideas for moving forward were proposed on Tuesday night at the public workshop and we will follow up on those ideas for working together to protect and improve a watershed that we all care deeply about.

Read our State of the Watershed Report.

Get Involved: Join us for an Earth Month restoration event in Malibu Creek State Park.