Fourteen low-income students from Antioch High will be recruited as research interns for one year to work with the Friends of Marsh Creek Watershed, and Contra Costa Flood Control District to restore native habitat, assess litter contamination, and survey water quality in the Upper Sand Creek Basin. Interns will study the correlation between the restoration of native vegetation and water quality. They will also address litter concentration issues and waterway blockage at the urban drool inflow at the Upper Sand Creek Basin.
The Upper Sand Creek Basin is an excellent site for restoration efforts and WQ monitoring because it was constructed recently and revegetated using native plants collected from the basin before excavation. Despite restoration efforts, the basin requires study and maintenance to ensure the effective filtration of water through stream-side willows and the thorough re-installation of diverse native plant species throughout open spaces.
The research team will use scientific methods and GLOBE instrumentation to perform WQ surveying, invasive species removal, litter mapping and clean-up, and native plant installations in the Upper Sand Creek Basin for one year, with in-class training and a minimum of 10 field days. Interns will implement an outreach campaign to community members with a series of on-campus presentations and one to two community events at the basin, including the fourth annual Earth Day event.
The project has essential long-term ecological restoration objectives that include the viability of the stream for endangered species, including the red-legged frog and California tiger salamander. Other species that call the basin home include red-winged blackbirds, bobcats, owls, and more.