Hoping to expand Glendale’s creek protections

October 12, 2009 § Leave a comment

a small wetland has been created by ponding of the creek's flows at a road culvert.

a small wetland has been created by ponding of the creek's flows at a road culvert.

Another view.

Another view

Is this a creek?  If you had a stream protection ordinance in your city, should this stream be covered by it?  Lee Scott, a Glendale resident, alerted Creekfreak to the fact that, while the city of Glendale admirably has a stream protection ordinance it only covers blueline streams. So his neighborhood stream has been at risk of development.

When I drove by there last week, a deer bounded out of the creek.  The creek zone was cool and moist, with sycamores, poison oak, and some reedy plants – due to the poison oak I didn’t try to get too close to take a better photo.  But it was clearly a nice intermittent-looking stream surrounded by live oaks.  Upstream, a road culvert caused ponding of the stream’s flows, creating a small wetland environment.  Looking downstream from above, the stream cut a deep ravine, one that I’d want help getting in and out of.

Protecting this steep, southern California stream only helps environmental quality – it protects water quality and habitat, and improves the quality of life of the people who live around it.  Too often we rely on the USGS or the Army Corps to tell us what a stream is – when we can clearly see for ourselves whether water has formed a stream channel, if there’s a clear direction of flow, and habitat specifically adapted to a creek environment.

Mr. Scott will put the issue on the table in a 3-minute public comment during the first “Oral Communications” period of the City Council meeting on Tuesday, October 13.  If you are in the community, show your support with a 3-minute testament to what some of these unmapped streams mean to you.  The meeting starts at 6pm, not sure exactly when the first public comment period will be – but don’t be shy, fill out that speaker card and speak from your heart.

And since the issue of creek protection comes up  – a lot – here’s a new page with some info to hopefully reduce the frustrating search for what-to-do when a creek in your neighborhood is at risk: Mini-primer on how to save your creek.

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