|Friends of Five Creeks|
Bulletins on helping creeks and watersheds
With climate change thinning snow packs, water shortages can only increase. In our area, fall is the time to plant, so roots can get established before the dry season. Please use plants that tolerate drought and do not require fertilizers or pesticides. Local native plant nurseries can advise you. Three in the East Bay are Native Here Nursery, Oaktown Native Plant Nursery , and the Watershed Nursery.
If you garden, one of the best ways to reduce water demand is to mulch heavily. Thick mulch also is an excellent way to help winter rains soak into soil, reducing runoff pollution and heavy storm flows that damage creeks. Mulch is available free -- get in touch and I’ll tell you some sources.
Pyrethroids, synthetic pyrethrins lethal to aquatic life, are building up in creek sediments. These pesticides largely replaced banned diazinon and chlorpyrifos for city uses. They do not harm humans but are lethal to the insects that fish eat. They accumulate in sediments, and become more toxic at the cold temperatures required by our native trout and salmon. A recent study found toxic levels of pyrethroids in all of 30 urban creeks tested, throughout the state! Please, avoid using pesticides outdoors. Read labels; do not buy products with compounds ending in "-thrin." If you live in an apartment building or work in an office building, ask what they are using to control ants and other insects -- indications are that much of the problem comes from commercial applicators.