Habitat Restoration at Lagunitas and Redwood Creeks with Mackintosh Academy

Our volunteer work continued in Marin County, California this week.  We spent two mornings working to restore vital habitat for coho salmon in two different watersheds.

Lagunitas Creek

 Just 30 minutes from San Francisco, Lagunitas Creek Watershed is one of the most important waterways left for wild coho salmon along the Central California Coast.  We worked with SPAWN (Salmon Protection and Watershed Network), a local organization dependent on volunteers to accomplish their goal of increasing local salmon populations.

We also spent a morning working with Golden Gate National Parks where Redwood Creek meets Muir Beach.  This project is designed to restore the creek and local watershed to its former state with 2012 being the project’s third year.  We were here in 2010 with another Mackintosh group and it was impressive to see site changes.  What was once bare soil is now covered in dense riparian vegetation.

2010 photo from Redwood Creek watershed.
Same location in 2012 after habitat restoration.

Our work at Redwood Creek also focused on removal of invasive weeds to help improve habitat for coho salmon, as well as steelhead trout and red-legged frog.  By removing prickly fruit buttercup and bristly ox-tongue, we made room for native plant species to move in and thrive.

We saw first-hand at Redwood Creek what volunteer efforts can do to improve habitat.  With any luck, our volunteer efforts this week will lead to even greater numbers of coho salmon using Lagunitas and Redwood Creeks in years to come.