Creek bed

Creek Week 2022 – Ways to Get Involved with Protecting Our Creeks

September marks several dedicated efforts throughout California that signify the importance of clean water and promote cleanups of local waterways. Pollution Prevention Week, Creek Week, and California’s Coastal Cleanup Day all coincide in the third week of September to encourage public participation in keeping our water free of harmful pollutants, with a primary focus on removing trash from local waterways.

Each September cleanup event is organized to bring volunteers together to cleanup trash and debris from beaches, rivers, and creeks, to educate the community on the importance of clean water, and to promote an overall appreciation of our environment, nature and being outside.

Make an impact by participating in Creek Week and Pollution Prevention Week. Here are some of the ways you can make a difference.

  • Join a hosted clean up event. For a list of events, visit rrwatershed.org.
  • Pick up litter and trash near your home, neighborhood, or local creek. Trash and litter in the environment can end up in our waterways either directly or through the storm drain system. When it rains, trash can enter the storm drain system, which moves water from paved areas to local waterways. By picking up trash you can help prevent trash from ending up in our local creeks, the Russian River and the ocean. Even if you don’t live near the Russian River or the coast, your efforts will make a difference in protecting our water resource.
  • Attend an educational creek week webinar (Check org/blogregularly for updates).
  • Start a compost bin. Need help getting started? Check out our RRWA article archive org/composting-dont-throw-it-away-compost-itor watch tutorials at https://zerowastesonoma.gov/recycle-dispose/residents/home-composting
  • Discontinue pesticide and herbicide use in your garden with safer alternatives. Our Water, Our World helps residents manage their home and garden pests in a way that helps protect our watershed. Learn more here org/project/our-water-our-world
  • Dispose of unwanted household hazardous waste (HHW) at your local HHW Collection Events https://zerowastesonoma.gov/recycle-dispose/residents/hhw-events
  • Pick up pet waste
  • Pick up leaf litter and yard waste to prevent it from clogging the storm drain
  • When washing your car, don’t allow wash water to enter the storm drain
  • Drop off unused and unwanted medications at a safe medicine disposal location. For location information visit org/project/safe-medicine-disposal

Show us your impact! As a way to show your participation, log cleanup efforts using the Streets to Creeks Action Tracker! Start an Action Tracker campaign to track all your actions to keep pollutants out of our waterways. Login into https://actiontracker.streetstocreeks.org/new-campaign/ to get started.

These are just some ideas how you can help protect the creeks and water quality. For more information on these and other ideas visit the Russian River watershed website at rrwatershed.org. Remember, September signifies the designated month to promote the importance of our local rivers and creeks, but these ideas to protect the environment can be implemented all year long.

This article was authored by Colleen Hunt, on behalf of the City of Cotati , on behalf of RRWA. RRWA is an association of local public agencies in the Russian River Watershed that have come together to coordinate regional programs for clean water, habitat restoration, and watershed enhancement.