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Monitoring and Assessing Water Quality
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Survey for National Volunteer Monitoring Directory

Monitoring program names:
Heal the Bay Stream Team
Stream Team

Affiliation, if you are part of a national, statewide, or regional network (e.g., Izaak Walton League, Texas Watch):

Contact Information
Name:Katherine PeaseStreet:1444 9th
City: Santa MonicaState: California
Zip Code:90401Phone: 310.451.1500 x 141
Email:kpease@healthebay.orgWeb site1:
Fax: Web site2:

Does your program serve as an "umbrella" organization for smaller monitoring groups?

Number of Active volunteers (excluding school classes):25~
For programs that work with schools: Teachers Number: Students Number:

Approx. annual monitoring budget: $ Year monitoring began: 1998~

Sources of funding or in-kind support
Federal Governmentx State Government Local Government
x Foundationsx Businesses Memberships
x Donationsx Grass roots fundraising (events, solicitations, etc.)Other:

Does program have a written QA (quality assurance) plan?Yes Is it state-approved?No
EPA-approved? No

Does program have monitoring-related publications you are willing to share with, or sell to, other groups?

Counties in which you monitor:
Los Angeles County

Program description:
Since 1998, almost 6,000 volunteers have gone through intense training and given their time as members of Heal the Bay's Stream Team. This volunteer crew of dedicated outdoors people spend their free time collecting environmental data in the Malibu Creek Watershed, which is the last natural watershed in Los Angeles, and home to some of the most beautiful wilderness in the L.A. area. Unfortunately, Malibu Creek, which drains to world-famous Surfrider Beach, suffers from high levels of bacteria, excessively high levels of nutrients and threatened habitat.

The Stream Team began by mapping Malibu Creek and its tributaries, using GPS technology to pinpoint the location of outfalls, pollution sources, and degraded habitat. We conducted extensive habitat restoration by removing invasive vegetation and replacing it with native plants. And we removed barriers to natural fish passage and migration, like the Texas Crossing in Serra Retreat. We also did research on the insects that live in the creek, which are good indicators of the overall health of the ecosystem. All of this data helped us determine where much of the pollution in the creek is coming from, how development has impacted the creek, and where some of the most urgent pollution problems are.

Today, Stream Team volunteers visit about 20 sites in the Malibu Creek watershed and conduct monthly water chemistry testing. They look at the site surroundings, speed of the water, clarity, and water temperature, and measure oxygen, dissolved solids, bacteria and nutrients. We enter this information into a database that then can track the health of a particular site over time, measuring impacts of things like development and rainfall.

Environments monitored:
Groundwater, Lake or Pond, River or Stream

Physical/chemical monitoring:
Conductivity, Dissolved Oxygen, Flow/Water level, Nitrogen, pH, Phosphorus, Salinity, TSS/TDS, Turbidity, Water temp.

Biological monitoring:
Aquatic vegetation, Bacteria, Fecal coliform, Habitat assessments, Terrestrial vegetation, Exotic / Invasive species

Exotic/Invasive Species:

Additional activities:

Restoration activities:

Data Uses
EducationOur program, State government
AdvocacyOur program, Non-governmental community organizations, Local government, State government
Research Our program, Local government, State government
Community organizing 
Screen for problemsOur program, Local government, State government
Establish baseline conditionsOur program, Local government, State government
Nonpoint source assessment 
BMP evaluation 
Land use decisions 
Watershed planningOur program, Non-governmental community organizations, Local government, State government
Plan restoration projectsOur program
EnforcementOur program, Local government, State government
Shellfish bed closuresState government
Swimming advisoriesOur program
State 305(b) report 


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Last updated on 07/17/2012 11:21:18 AM
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