Update on Topanga Watershed
Restoration Efforts

May 2000

Since 1998, the Topanga Watershed Committee has been moving forward in implementing actions identified in the Draft Topanga Creek Watershed Management Plan (April 1996) throughout the watershed. These actions have addressed community education, revision of flood control laws, basic research, and on going efforts to implement restoration plans. The Topanga Watershed Committee is organized according to a Coordinated Resource Management Plan (CRMP), with all stakeholders sharing in the volunteer, consensus based planning process.

Community Education Efforts

September 1998 - set up website at www.TopangaOnline.com (now receiving over 1,500 hits/month)

December 1998 - Topanga Watershed Tour (50 participants)

April 1999 - Workshop on Water Quality Issues (150 participants)

May 1999 - Workshop on Septic systems (40 participants)

June 1999 - Clean the Creek day (50 participants, 2 tons of trash removed)

October 1999 - Watershed Classes for 4th and 5th graders at Topanga Elementary School (120 students participated)

November 1999 - Presentation on alternative Fire safety measures and environmentally sensitive fuel modification strategies (120 participants)

December 1999 - State of the Watershed meeting (200 participants)

March 2000 - Streambank and Slope stabilization Workshop (100 participants)

April 2000 - Earth Day Creek Clean Up - (90 participants, over 2 tons removed)

May 2000 - Joint Watershed and Firesafe Comm. meeting on septic regulations and fire safety.

June 2000 - Grading and Drainage Best Management Practices Workshop

Information about the Watershed Committee regularly reported in the local newspaper, Topanga Messenger.

Integrate efforts of the Topanga Firesafe Committee, the Topanga Floodway Advisory Committee, the Topanga Town Council and Topanga Coalition for Emergency Preparedness.

Basic Research

1. Topanga Stream Walks - with NMFS and NPS to GPS locations of endangered plant and animal species, stands of Arundo, wrecked cars, potential steelhead impediments. Documented presence of yearling steelhead in July 1998, 2-3 adult steelhead in April 2000, clusters of endangered Santa Monica Mountains Dudleya.
July 1998, May 1999, April 2000

2. Biological inventory and GIS overlay of sensitive species adjacent to all County infrastructure in the Topanga Watershed
Contract with LA County Dept. of Public Works - $23,000

3. Evaluation of Environmentally Sensitive Fuel Modification strategies to for the Rural/Urban Wildland Interface - grant from CA Dept. Forestry - $14,500
Included preparation of Firewise Landscaping plant list of Santa Monica Mountain native species.

4. Fire Behavior changes due to implementation of environmentally sensitive fuel modification strategies - grant from CUEREC - $25,000

5. Water Quality Monitoring in the Topanga Creek Watershed - grant from 205j $53,800

6. Monitor Bat populations in Topanga Bridges - contract with LA County DPW $6,000

7. Research historical information about the Topanga Lagoon - $800 from the Topanga Watershed Committee

8. Amphibian survey of Topanga Creek - in partnership with National Park Service - $4,300

9. CRMP development Grant - funded by Dept. of Conservation $5,500 to initiate and organize Topanga Watershed Committee

10. Kitty Killers or Killer Kitties - Role of domestic cats as predators and prey in Topanga - Science Fair Project for 6th and 8th grade students Allison and Cory Wheeland

Other projects pending:

Submitted grant request to Urban Stream Restoration Project for $13,200 to airlift wrecked cars out of the creek.

Submitted grant request to CA Dept. of Fish and Game to conduct baseline instream habitat and steelhead trout survey of Topanga Creek.

Submitted grant request to SMBRP to fund $58,000 Phase 1 Sediment Transport and Loading Study.

Prepare handbook for residents called Living Lightly in the Watershed to answer commonly asked questions.

Develop macro-invertebrate sampling project to establish biological assessment index.

Work with Caltrans to implement bioengineered solutions to several rip rap slopes along the creek, reduce sedimentation and revise road shoulder maintenance practices to protect roadside pocket wetlands, seeps and other sensitive locations.

Develop prioritized restoration plan for specific sites in the watershed.

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