Since 2003, Greenspace staff and volunteers have been actively monitoring the water quality and condition of our local creeks. With funding from the Morrissey Family Foundation, we purchased state of the art YSI water monitoring equipment with probes for salinity, oxygenation, ORP, pH and other factors in order to get basic monthly readings from sites on Santa Rosa and San Simeon Creeks. These readings enable us to determine the basic condition of the creeks and whether conditions are hospitable to steelhead fish and their young fry.
Greenspace is a member of the San Luis Obispo County Water Conservancy, a coalition of local non-profits and agencies that work to improve the condition of our local waterways. We aim to work with fellow Conservancy members Creeklands Conservation (formerly Central Coast Salmon Enhancement) and Upper Salinas-Las Tablas Resource Conservation District to develop Citizen Science projects for monitoring water quality and stream flow in Santa Rosa Creek and Lagoon, and for annual fish counts to determine the creek’s current steelhead population.
Our past projects have included removal of steelhead migration barriers under Cambria’s Burton Street Bridge, reconstruction of an eroding streambank and rerouting of Santa Rosa Creek into its earlier streambed, and design of a bridge for Ferrasci Road, east of Coast Union High School, to replace a culvert that made fish passage impossible when the creek levels were low. These projects all were made possible by grants from California Department of Fish and Wildlife/Fish Restoration Grant Program, which also funded our Santa Rosa Creek Watershed Management Plan.
Greenspace advocated for Marine protections on the Central Coast resulting in the protections afforded by the newly formed Cambria State Marine Park which is located along our coastline.
California's coast and ocean are among our most treasured resources. The productivity, wildness, and beauty found here is central to California's identity, heritage, and economy. The need to safeguard the long-term health of California's marine life was recognized by the California Legislature in 1999 with the passage of the Marine Life Protection Act. This Act aims to protect California’s marine natural heritage through establishing a statewide network of marine protected areas (MPAs) designed, created, and managed using sound science and stakeholder input.
MPAs protect the diversity and abundance of marine life, the habitats they depend on, and the integrity of marine ecosystems. The Marine Life Protection Act recognizes that a combination of MPAs with varied amounts of allowed activities and protections (marine reserves, marine conservation areas, and marine parks) can help conserve biological diversity, provide a sanctuary for marine life, and enhance recreational and educational opportunities. MPAs can also provide scientific reference points to assist with resource management decisions, and protect a variety of marine habitats, communities, and ecosystems for their economic and intrinsic value, for generations to come.