Creek Restoration Project
What creates a sustainable creek and riparian zone?
SEA-DISC students work for the first ten weeks of SEA-DISC revegetating the Sleepy Hollow Creek that runs through Drake's campus. In order to bring back the Steelhead Trout population, students assess the creek's plant habitat, also known as the riparian corridor, and make plans to remove and plant the proper plant species.
The Sleepy Hollow Creek in San Anselmo is covered with invasive, non-native vegetation which is displacing the native plant life, lowering the biodiveristy and causing soil erosion issues.
Native animal species rely on native plants for their survival. Invasive
plants, therefore, can harm native animal species; if ivy kills off
shade-producing trees like alders and willows, the creek will heat up.
A warm creek holds less oxygen, leading to a decline in native aquatic
animals, including Steelhead Trout.
SEA-DISC, with the help of Friends of the Corte Madera Creek
(an environmental organization that is working to protect the Corte
Madera creek and its tributaries), agreed on which non-natives
to remove and which ones to keep. SEA-DISC students first identified
all the vegetation found along the creek and then researched it. Using
their findings, they prioritized invasive species to take out and Students working in the San Anselmo Creek.
determined which natives would be most beneficial to Steelhead Trout and riparian wildlife in their place.
Students spent class time outside battling the non-native plants they decided to remove. With a grant by MCSTOPPP, SEA-DISC was able to purchase the necessary native plants. Professionals came to teach the students how to Willow Wattle, a revegetation technique that will eventually sprout fast growing willow trees while keeping the steep hillside from eroding. SEA-DISC has been revegetating the creek for the past 20 years and will continue in their quest to bring back the Steelhead Trout population.
In addition to restoration, all student write a report on the state of the creek, collecting soil and observational data on the creek and then recommending what be done to it for the best restoration possible. Here is an example of one of these reports!
Senior Lily restoring the creek bank
SEA-DISC students shoveling wood chips
Junior Zoe carrying bay branches