Youth Stream Team

The Big Chico Creek Watershed Citizen Monitoring Program provides opportunities for the public to participate in watershed monitoring and restoration efforts, to encourage public understanding of the ecological function of watersheds, and urban runoff pollution sources including easy measures they can take to prevent pollution from entering local waterways. These efforts are closely linked with the goals of the City of Chico Storm Water Management Program, and the City of Chico Park Division Volunteer Program, as well as the educational needs of local schools.

Our mission is to gather useful environmental information needed to protect the ecological health of the Big Chico Creek watershed, while engaging the local community in effective watershed stewardship.

A variety of cumulative impacts can stress aquatic systems and impair their beneficial functions. Non-point source pollutants can flow from the land into creeks including sediment, synthetic materials from our roads and automobiles, fertilizers, nutrients, sewage leaks, and animal wastes. Creek monitoring provides useful baseline information that can be used to track these potential impacts. Baseline information collected now will help facilitate the ability to track changes over time and help prioritize efforts for identifying sources of pollutants, and appropriate land use changes needed to minimize impacts.

Healthy creek systems like Big Chico Creek are integral to the overall function of the Sacramento River ecosystem and are important for providing safe drinking water, ground water recharge, flood control, critical habitat for listed and endangered fish and wildlife, and provide intrinsic scenic value to our community.

Thanks to the amazing work and dedication of citizen volunteers, over 20,000 hours of community service have been provided, and six consecutive years of stream data has been collected, forming a baseline of information useful for tracking long-term trends in watershed condition cumulatively resulting from restoration activities, land management changes, and natural processes.