San Pedro Creek Watershed Coalition arose from a convergence
of concerns about San Pedro Creek by a wide array of citizens.
Flooding and related bank erosion initially dominated the
community’s awareness of the stream, but the spread
of non-native invasive species such as Cape Ivy and giant
reed have also drawn the attention of park volunteers and
naturalists. Water pollution is also a growing concern. In
1996, independent water quality testing conducted by the Pedro
Point Surf Club revealed elevated levels of total coliform
bacteria, especially at the creek’s outlet at Pacifica
State Beach. In October 1999, the EPA closed one mile of Pacifica
State Beach for 44 days due to elevated levels of Enterococcus
and coliform bacteria. The San Mateo County Health Department
continues to post the creek mouth as unsafe for human use.
Pedro Creek Watershed Coalition seeks to involve the watershed’s
10,000 residents in restoration projects and to educate them
about Best Management Practices (BMP’s) to prevent storm
water quality problems. We have organized work parties to
remove non-native invasive species and replant/restore native
vegetation. We have held bioengineering workshops for community
members and civic employees. We have organized creek clean-ups
and worked with city and county park officials in San Pedro
Valley County Park to replace an existing culvert (steelhead
barrier) with a freestanding bridge to allow passage for migrating
scientific assessment of the creek, we have also worked to
provide the community of Pacifica with valuable information
about the San Pedro Creek Watershed. Since 1999, we have conducted
systematic assessments of the historic and current physical,
chemical and biological conditions of the San Pedro Creek
Watershed. We have undertaken assessments of the creek’s
hydrology, geomorphology, land use patterns, vegetation, fishery
and fish habitat, and water quality. Pacifica residents, community
leaders and city officials can use this information to help
restore and maintain the health of San Pedro Creek.
develop and implement an historic and current assessment
of the physical, chemical and biological conditions of
restore the geomorphic function, native flora and fauna,
and water quality to the maximum extent possible.
promote awareness of critical watershed issues through
an ongoing program of education and community involvement.
maintain the watershed ecosystem through a continuing
program of monitoring and adaptive management.
improve communication and working relationships with local,
state and federal resource and regulatory agencies, community
organizations and civic leaders, in order to promote and
facilitate watershed protective measures.
Channels and Watershed (Geomorphology and Hydrology):
Assess the conditions of the stream bed and banks along
San Pedro Creek: rates of channel erosion and incision;
hydrologic and channel response to major precipitation/runoff
events; and a detailed physical mapping of the creek, noting
the location of such features as eroding banks, pipe and
storm drain outlets, revetments, pool and riffle habitats,
and grade control structures.
and Ecology: Assess the extent and health of existing
riparian and upland vegetation communities, and associated
habitats for aquatic animals. Survey the extent of native
and non-native species and communities, especially the extent
of non-native invasives.
Quality: 1.) isolate known and suspected sources of
pollution in the watershed which include confined animal
facilities, landfills, street and commercial runoff, sewage
leaks and illegal discharges; 2.) determine if water quality
has the potential of limiting existing steelhead and red-legged
frog populations, and other aquatic life; 3.) develop data
necessary to educate and work with the public to implement
the best management plan to reduce pollutant loads in the
the geomorphic structure -- the banks, channel and associated
wetlands to better support native habitat.
the ecological structure and functions of the watershed.
native vegetation along the channel and banks, in associated
wetlands, and elsewhere in the watershed, where feasible.
populations of native fauna in the watershed; in particular,
restore the steelhead fishery of San Pedro Creek. Repair
or replace fish ladders where no other solution exists
(Capistrano, Sanchez Creek).
favorable water quality by controlling turbidity, waste
disposal and the discharge of harmful substances in the
awareness of watershed stewardship through stewardship
workshops and activities.
Work with local landowners and agency representatives
to formulate and implement best management practices for
site development, waste disposal and bank stabilization.
Support the development of watershed educational materials
and curricula for local schools; involve students and
teachers in restoration efforts.
Provide a permanent resource center for the watershed
that will provide information and assistance to property
owners and others seeking to take actions that might
affect the watershed.
the watershed ecosystem by providing a continuing program
of water, plant and animal assessment, creek bank erosion
control, eradication of non-native species, and litter removal.
for adaptive management and monitoring to respond effectively
to the evolving problems of the watershed.