Water trickling down the rocks

Newsletter from Friends of Cordilleras Creek
We work toward a healthy watershed
Getting ready for the rainy season. Who can help. News along the creek. What's happening !


Please forward this, post& share with any persons or groups who you may think will be interested including Emerald Hills Homeowners, Palomar Park, Friends of Edgewood Park, Centennial Neighborhood Assoc., Cordilleras Rd, Edgewood St residents, Eaton Ave residents, White Oak residents. Thanks for publicizing this meeting of creek advocates.

Special Meeting for Friends of Cordilleras Creek.  Join your neighbors along the creek at Dorothy's home, San Carlos this Thurs, Feb 9 at 7:30pm to discuss creek issues such as replacing native trees, protecting the creek from bank erosion & what the cities are doing about dredging in lower creek. We will have refreshments, free wildflower seeds & time to talk.

We had flooding again this year. The creek jumped its banks Sat morning, Dec 31 just below Old County Rd and flooded the businesses on Bing St and most classrooms at Redwood High. Water & mud had to be removed over the weekend. There was both a high tide situation and strong rains for several days.

Steering Committee members for our group are: This year's events include Earth Day, Home Town Days (SC) and Creek Cleanup in Sept. Join us in planning these events!

Fall Creek Clean Up day was Sat Sept 17 at most local creeks & beaches. In '04 we cleared over 800 lbs of debris, car batteries, lawn chairs, shopping carts etc out of Cordilleras Creek bed and banks. This year teams cleaned the Creek from El Camino Real to Industrial Way and also lower Pulgas Creek. Bags of plastic debris was collected so that it would not wash into the bay. The worlds 'bays & oceans are being covered with a film of small plastic floating pieces. The idea is to get the creeks clean and green so that debris doesn't flow with the first rains out into the bay. Plastic debris is life-threatening to the fish and birds. The high school students cleaned at district property. Caltrans assisted by cleaning under El Camino Real and Royal Wholesale Electric cleaned their stretch of the creek.

On nearby Pulgas Creek, a 'Friends' group is forming and the Devonshire Canyon Open Space Alliance won a victory which now requires more careful consideration of the upper watershed canyon when reviewing plans by a developer to build five homes  above the creek channel, (and within the riparian corridor.) New studies are being presented to the San Carlos planning dept and city council which identify endangered plant species & other mammal 'species of concern'. This canyon would make a beautiful and almost pristine natural park. Citizens are speaking up to preserve it.

Winter preparation involved residents clearing out the non-natural trash & debris from the creeks & culverts. The cities & county public works staffs are going around to clear leaves, cut limbs & remove other blockages. As you may have read, no sediment dredging will take place this year. Paperwork for permits from CDFG are 'in the works' for next year, awaiting a 5 Year Plan. Rich of the Centennial Neighborhood Assoc suggests we note the tide charts for times when intense storms will increase the flooding potential associated with high tides in the lower creek areas.

FOCC is considering affiliation with the Urban Creeks Council of Calif based in east bay. The advantage would be use of their staff in presenting workshops for residents and city/county staffs on creek protection and restoration. This would be helpful in making an impact when we promote our membership and programs or when we make suggestions to city/county departments. Their interesting website is

One of the efforts we wish to start is to get activity status (project or program)  from  public agencies along the creek. This means we are asking city, county and district agents to answer some inquiries about what studies, construction projects, planning or considerations they are conducting at this time and through the next year. We want complete information, copies of scopes, etc for what ever they are putting money or staff time into. This is not confrontational but only our conviction that we need 'sunshine' on all these activities. This will allow us to know what is not being dealt with and where we can put some focus and energy.

Friends of Cordilleras Creek has been awarded a $3K grant for protection &restoration work by the Rose Foundation's 'environmental fund'. We will begin preparing assessments & reports on the sedimentation & bank erosion problems up & down the creek & tributaries. We will be recommending actions that private & public property owners can take to protect their valuable creek frontage.

Last Nov 6 the Friends of Edgewood Park celebrated the opening of a pedestrian bridge over the creek. We provided packets of native wildflower seeds to the attendees.  Importantly, original native plants will be restored along with a wider vegetation buffer between the parking lot and the creek.

The Acterra calendar and newsletter contain a lot in info on events and ideas circulating around the peninsula. Their website is

Redwood City Gen'l Plan revision. In early '05 consideration of more defined protection of the creeks was raised at a community meeting by about six persons. These protections have since been put into ordinance form (on Nov 14), so that they have enforcement value. Bank Encroachment (paving, etc)  is one of the prime reasons for erosion & bank failure, promoting flooding downstream. Jon Lynch, manager of Construction & Eng is to be commended for his direction of the ordinance creation.

The County of San Mateo and EOA, Inc, through the storm water program is conducting a two year 'bio assessment study' at six sites along Cordilleras Creek. Some residents have offered creek access to their sites. They are noting the health of the creek in its ability to support aquatic life, mainly the critters who live in the creek bed mud. Results will be available summer '06.

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Copyright 2006
Last modified: March 26, 2006