PVHS Earth Team interns have began water quality (WQ) monitoring of Pinole Creek! The site selected for bi-weekly WQ tests is directly behind the Pinole Library, and less than a mile upstream from the newly completed Fish Passage. The passage was implemented in order for endangered Steelhead, to effectively travel across the stretch of Pinole Creek below the I-80 Highway. These incredible species travel upstream from the Bay, to spawning grounds in fresh water. Earth Team’s WQ monitoring will allow interns to determine if the Creek is at a healthy level to sustain a population of steelhead to spawn, and if the any changes occur to the WQ after the installation of the fish passage.
Interns have also spent the last two weeks learning about the native riparian flora that surrounds Pinole Creek. Each team member was given a native, non-native, and/or invasive plant to research, accurately identify in the field, and present to the team. Interns were also ask to get a rough species count of their selected plant, during a Plant Walk. This activity allowed students to visually see how invasive plants can out compete native plants, and overrun entire areas.
In addition, PVHS Earth Team performed a Litter Assessment at Pinole Creek. Over 500 pieces of trash were collected, and the data with geo locations, was entered into the the EarthTeam Zero Litter App. Interns also waded through the creek to collect litter and enter data.
PVHS Earth Team interns are learning the importance of their local creek, the habitat it provides to unique endangered species, and the work that it takes to keep litter from polluting its shores. Interns have been challenged to step outside their comfort zone, and help the local environment in ways they have never done before.