Five Things You Can Do for Creeks

  • Eliminate or reduce your use of pesticides, herbicides and chemical fertilizers. Use compost to provide natural, slow-acting fertilizer. Control pests with non-toxic alternatives such as hand-picking, traps, closing up holes, and encouraging predatory insects. Ask your local nursery or hardware store for information on less-toxic chemicals or contact 510-670-5543, 1-888-BAYWISE, 510-524-2567, or Especially avoid products containing bifenthrin, carbaryl (Sevin), chlorpyrifos, cyfluthrin, cypermethrin, deltamethrin, diazinon, esfenvalerate, lambda-csyhalothrin, Malathion, and permethrin, which poison aquatic life.
  • Don't pour or wash ANYTHING down gutters or storm drains. They drain directly to creeks or the bay. Wash vehicles and equipment with water only. Wash on dirt or grass where soapy water won't run off to the street or storm drains. Use your local car wash. Don't let motor oil run into gutters; ask your city about proper disposal of oil, antifreeze, concrete, paint, solvents, and other chemicals. Report illegal discharges. Avoid over-watering or washing that sends EB MUD water to creeks or drains as well. Drinking water is treated with chloramines, which are lethal to small aquatic organisms that support fish and other creatures.
  • Drive less! Auto exhaust particles, leaking fluids, and debris from tire and brake-pad wear are major sources of Bay Area water pollution. Walk, bicycle, carpool, use transit; plan errands to reduce driving.
  • Help water to filter into the soil and thus reduce runoff pollution and sudden, erosive storm flows. Keep impervious surfaces to a minimum on your property. Use chips, gravel, sand, wood decking, or permeable paving rather than concrete. Don't pave over the strip between sidewalk and street. Leave a green median in your driveway. Keep your yard well planted and mulched, and make downspouts discharge to planted areas where water can soak in and provide a healthy, natural flow to creeks.
  • Plant to keep creeks shady so the water stays cool, and to reduce erosion. Native plants can provide good habitat and erosion control with a minimum of care. Keep native vegetation where it exists along creeks. Replace invasive non-native plants such as English ivy, Himalayan blackberry, Cape or German ivy, Pampas grass, and ice plant with suitable natives.