Empowering people to improve community and watershed health through environmental justice education, community science events, and advocacy.
Toxic pollutants threaten the health of our watersheds and everything that lives in them, including humans. Our current system of throwaway consumerism produces profits for polluters and toxic wastes as a byproduct. In coastal communities such as the San Francisco Bay area, toxins such as plastic travel through the watershed down to the Bay and out to the Pacific Ocean, affecting many other parts of the world. Through volunteer cleanups and creek monitoring we educate the public about the life cycle impacts of the products we use every day and how to advocate for systemic change. Community science data helps us identify problem products and the companies that produce them, and inspires people to demand non-toxic and waste-free products. By partnering with communities to understand the health of our watersheds, we can pinpoint issues and move toward restoration of both ecosystem and community health.
Community scientists collect critical water quality data and monitor the health of our local creeks and watersheds. The data they collect informs future restoration projects and environmental policy to build healthy watersheds. The Watershed Project trains and leads teams of interested volunteers in conducting monitoring projects in urban creeks across Contra Costa County.
The Watershed Project spearheads the Contra Costa Watershed Forum’s Creek Monitoring Subcommittee, leading a collaboration between community groups and agencies to establish a standardized water quality monitoring system that will be used throughout Contra Costa County. This project builds on The Watershed Project’s active riparian restoration projects in Contra Costa County, and our goal is to engage community members and train them to become citizen scientists. You can see the data we’ve collected so far in the Wildcat, San Pablo, Walnut, Grayson, and Marsh Creek Watersheds, thanks to the team at Water Reporter!
Monthly Monitoring Map: click below to learn about our water quality data!
Learn about the health of your creek with our Water Quality Report Cards! Green indicates that a parameter is within the healthy range, red indicates that it is outside the healthy range, and yellow means that it is somewhere in the middle. There are report cards available from two water years: 2017-2018 and 2018-2019.
Lower San Pablo Creek Report Card 2017-18
Lower San Pablo Creek Report Card 2018-19
Upper San Pablo Creek Report Card 2017-18
Upper San Pablo Creek Report Card 2018-19
Wildcat Creek Watershed Report Card 2017-18
Wildcat Creek Watershed Report Card 2018-19
Walnut Creek Watershed Report Card 2017-18
Walnut Creek Watershed Report Card 2018-19
Upper Marsh Creek Report Card 2017-18
Upper Marsh Creek Report Card 2018- 2019
Rheem Creek Report Card 2018-19
Stormwater Monitoring Map:
See us at work!
Join The Watershed Project in the creek and learn about watersheds, ecology, water quality, creek critters, and how they are impacted by the urban areas around them in the Bay Area. For this 2019 project we partnered with Friends of Pleasant Hill Creeks and volunteers to do a benthic macroinvertebrate assessment and a trash assessment on nearby sections of Grayson Creek, part of the Walnut Creek Watershed.
Video by IAMFORDphotography.com
Our partners for our Water Quality Monitoring Program include:
Contra Costa College’s Biological Sciences Department
Contra Costa Flood Control District
Contra Costa Resource Conservation District
Contra Costa Watershed Program
Friends of Pleasant Hill Creeks
Friends of the Creeks
Friends of the Marsh Creek Watershed
Friends of Orinda Creeks
Save Mount Diablo
The Healthy Watersheds volunteer-driven clean-ups engage and educate communities on reducing the amount of waste entering our creeks, ocean, and watersheds. Annual events such as Coastal Cleanup Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, and Earth Day bring out thousands of volunteers from across the Bay Area to our shorelines and result in removal of hundreds, even thousands, of pounds of waste. We also hold cleanups in more ecologically sensitive areas, like riparian zones next to urban creeks and marshes, with smaller groups of dedicated volunteers. The Watershed Project’s involvement in local cleanups for two decades has generated a wealth of collected data on the amount and types of waste removed, a valuable resource for policy makers involved in trying to reduce pollution.
Check our events page to find upcoming cleanups.
By conducting trash assessments with school groups and volunteers, we are helping Contra Costa and Alameda Counties fulfill their zero waste in surface waters requirement by 2022. The data collected also informs policy makers about where to target source reduction campaigns. Read an analysis of trash trends in Contra Costa County here: Summary
10 Ways to Reduce Plastic & Carbon – 10 easy ways you can be green at home.
Alameda County Plastic Bag Ordinance – Alameda County’s new plastic bag ordinances goes into effect on May 1st.
Universal Waste Disposal Guidelines – Universal guidelines to trash, recycling, and compost. Check your local waste management provider for additional items that can be diverted from the landfill.
Monthly plastic-free lifestyle challenge – Start a new habit each month with our guide to kicking the plastic habit.