To learn more about Stream Team's water chemistry sampling events or be notified of upcoming trainings, contact us.
Since 1998, almost 6,000 volunteers have gone through intense training and given their time as members of Heal the Bay's Stream Team. This volunteer crew of dedicated outdoors people spend their free time collecting environmental data in the Malibu Creek Watershed, which is the last natural watershed in Los Angeles, and home to some of the most beautiful wilderness in the L.A. area. Unfortunately, Malibu Creek, which drains to world-famous Surfrider Beach, suffers from high levels of bacteria, excessively high levels of nutrients and threatened habitat.
The Stream Team began by mapping Malibu Creek and its tributaries, using GPS technology to pinpoint the location of outfalls, pollution sources, and degraded habitat. We conducted extensive habitat restoration by removing invasive vegetation and replacing it with native plants. And we removed barriers to natural fish passage and migration, like the Texas Crossing in Serra Retreat. We also did research on the insects that live in the creek, which are good indicators of the overall health of the ecosystem. All of this data helped us determine where much of the pollution in the creek is coming from, how development has impacted the creek, and where some of the most urgent pollution problems are.
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Moving Forward - Today and Beyond
Today, Stream Team volunteers visit about 20 sites in the Malibu Creek watershed and conduct monthly water chemistry testing. They look at the site surroundings, speed of the water, clarity, and water temperature, and measure oxygen, dissolved solids, bacteria and nutrients. See our Citizen Guide for Field and Laboratory Water Chemistry Monitoring in the Santa Monica Mountains for more information. We enter this information into a database that tracks the health of a particular site over time, measuring impacts of development and rainfall among other factors.
Does hiking along streams in the Santa Monica Mountains and getting a little bit dirty and/or wet for the sake of science and the environment sound like fun to you? We would love to have you join our team.
A collaboration between the Resource Conservation District of the Santa Monica Mountains (RCDSMM) and Heal the Bay. The objectives of this project are to share the locations (and associated metadata) of all aquatic monitoring efforts in the Santa Monica Bay watershed among local stakeholders and with the general public. This collaborative effort will enhance collaboration between monitoring groups, by providing watershed-wide information that will allow groups to reduce the duplication of their monitoring efforts and fill data gaps in the watershed. For more information, e-mail Sandra Albers.