Resilient Ecosystems

The ecosystems of California’s Central Coast are resilient — but not indestructible. Drought, wildfires, floods, and human activities are causing drastic changes: creek beds are eroding, wildlife is becoming threatened, endangered or extinct, and watersheds are losing their ability to retain enough water to support healthy habitat. What’s more, young people often feel powerless to make a lasting change.

Reversing this damage so ecosystems and human activities can bounce back and thrive takes a team that understands what a healthy watershed requires. Led by nationally recognized scientists working alongside our wonderful partners and volunteers, Creek Lands Conservation is a nonprofit organization that collaborates with community landowners, schools and universities, and local government to establish safe and sustainable watershed management plans.

Our staff and teams of dedicated volunteers learn to recognize that our connection to nature is something we cannot afford to lose, and we intentionally develop those personal connections.

From Monterey to Ventura, we collaborate with a wide range of partners on a wide range of projects, all geared toward increasing the resilience of the Central Coast:

Creek flow: We work with Cal Poly to study water flow in local creeks to help steelhead recovery, so land users can grow food without compromising healthy habitat.

Species recovery: We work with agencies like the City of San Luis Obispo and the California Department of Fish & Wildlife to remove fish migration barriers and to deploy state-of-the-art sonar instruments to efficiently collect valuable data about native fish without disrupting their migrations. We work with Cal Poly and many others to study native California shellfish recovery including Pismo Clams and White Abalone.

Wildfire restoration: We work with US Forest Service to restore eroding roads & trails after wildfire, ensuring the health of steelhead trout spawning and rearing habitat in Central California creeks and streams.

Check out these and other important projects on our website, here!

Our projects contribute to understanding how human activities impact wildlife habitat, so we can work with growers to devise innovative techniques that balance resource utilization. Innovative research combined with careful stakeholder input has the potential to build resilience in Central Coast communities and beyond.

We also help build resilience by providing local schools with vital science-based community education which is not currently supported by federal or state funding. We aim to help people build personal resilience by deepening their connections with nature through immersive learning experiences, from elementary school to adult.

By rallying around watersheds and nearshore habitat, we help the Central Coast build resilience so it can continue as a healthy and thriving place to live, visit, and play for our generation and many to come.