Vegetation Management Projects
New riparian management techniques are focused on promoting native species diversity and maintaining flood capacity. These techniques include removing and controlling non-native blackberry, active restoration of native plant species, limbing the lower branches of existing trees to promote taller, shadier canopies and to allow maximum flow during floods. Do these techniques meet the multiple objectives of controlling floods and increasing the abundance of native species? What are the effects on other organisms (e.g., birds and fish)? Can successional processes be ‘fast-forwarded’ to result in taller, shadier, riparian communities with an understory dominated by native plant cover?
Vegetation measurements of this project are part of an SCWA-SSU contract to Caroline Christian (Department of Environmental Studies and Planning).
Stewardship and restoration of watercourses requires physical activity to clean up refuse, maintain paths, plant natives, and remove invasive species. At the same time, these activities can potentially increase the health of participants. This project examines the effects of self
paced restoration activities on heart rate and metabolism.
Blackberry Control on Copeland Creek
Himilayan blackberry is a common invasive on the banks of Copeland Creek from the headwaters to the Laguna. A variety of control efforts are underway. WATERS sponsors summer crews from the Sonoma County Youth Ecology Corps who work at a variety of locations, including SSU campus and at SSU's Fairfield Osborn Preserve.