Pinole Valley High Earth Team spent this week learning about environmental monitoring and its importance. Environmental monitoring can be defined as the systematic collection of data from air, water, soil, plants, and animals, in order to observe, study, and obtain knowledge from the process. This process is used by scientists in many different fields and is an aid in detecting negative environmental stressors and implementing the appropriate management plan. PVHS Earth Team interns will begin monthly vegetation surveys of a 1000 ft area along Pinole Creek, in order to monitor the the spread of invasive plants, and determine which native plants are still thriving, and which are barely hanging on. Interns hope that vegetation monitoring of this area of the creek near Pinole Valley High, will lead to a community wide restoration effort to improve the habitat.
Pinole Valley High Earth Team interns have conducted their 2nd litter assessment of Pinole Creek and Pinole Valley High this week. Litter is a major environmental issue worldwide. 70% of marine debris litter is land based and travels down storm drains, through creeks, and streams, and eventually to beautiful SF Bay. From there litter floats into the Pacific Coast and onward. The most common type of litter is cigarette butts, and plastic. Earth Team discovered this firsthand. Plastics and cigarette butts made the majority of the litter removed along Pinole Creek.
Earth Team does their part to mitigate marine debris by conducting bi-weekly litter assessments. These assessments consist of removing as much litter as possible, collecting data and entering it into the National Oceanic and Atmospheric (NOAA) Marine Debris Tracker App, determining where litter hotspots are and what can be done to keep littering there from happening. Anyone can use NOAA’s Marine Debris Tracker App, it is made to promote citizen science and give anyone the opportunity to make a quantitative difference towards removing debris from our marine ecosystems. The app is available for Iphones and Androids, is user -friendly and incredibly intuitive, and will provide actual maps of areas you have collected litter. EarthTeam urges everyone to do their part to protect our Bay and oceans! Download the app now, get out there and make a difference!!