Other SSU-SCWA Activities
SCWA and SSU together and separately have long-term interests in Copeland Creek and surrounding watershed. In addition to WATERS projects, we maintain a list of various ways in which our organizations collaborate or undertake compatible projects.
Sonoma County Water Agency Interests
On Copeland Creek, SCWA sponsors clean up days (such as the Expeditionary Learning Program at Mountain Shadows Middle School in 2008 and 2009) and a variety of restoration activities. Long-term initiatives on the Creek include:
- Copeland Creek Restoration Project - Between 1999 and 2007, this project restored approximately 6,000 feet of Copeland Creek in an area intensively grazed by cattle for over a century. Project goals included stabilizing banks, decreasing creek sediment load, excluding cattle from the creek, and improving habitat for steelhead and other native fish and wildlife. Monitoring continues through 2014.
- Copeland Creek Project - a multi-phase effort targeting improvement of flood protection and fish habitat, and reduction of sediment. In August 2011, Phase 1 of the project was funded in August 2011 by California Department of Water Resources undertake Phase 1 of the project ($1 million).
Sonoma State University Interests
Since the founding of SSU in 1961, faculty, students, and staff have been engaged in issues surrounding the regional management of water resources, energy and sustainability. Many of these activities have become part of the mission and goals of SSU institutes, departments, and programs:
- SSU Preserves - SSU owns and administers the 411-acre Fairfield Osborn Preserve which lies on the upper reaches of Copeland Creek for the purposes of education and research. The Preserve is administered by the School of Science and Technology to support disciplines across campus.
- Department of Environmental Studies and Planning - ENSP is an interdisciplinary department with a focus on sustainability that identifies Copeland Creek as a unique resource in its course offerings. ENSP administers the Center for Sustainable Communities and Institute for Community Planning Assistance which are focused on engaging students in community projects and programs related to sustainabilty. ENSP offers two study plans and degree options for undergraduates that are directly related to watershed management issues:
- Campus Gardens - on-campus gardens (map) showcase native biodiversity on Copeland Creek, and include:
- ENSP's Garden Classroom which is increasingly involved in the demonstration of agricultural practices compatible with watershed management. Interns running volunteer crews each Friday under the Garden Work Day program also engage in Copeland Creek restoration.
- Other gardens maintained by SSU Landscape Services include interpretive signs and trails teaching about Copeland Creek and California diversity. Gardens include Butterfly Garden and Native Plant Garden.
- Friends of Copeland Creek is a student organization, supervised through the Department of Biology, dedicated to the ecological restoration of Copeland Creek on the SSU campus.
- SSU Campus Planning, Design and Construction - The Director of Campus Planning is responsible for administering the Copeland Creek Master Plan, a working document that establishes guiding principles, goals, and actions for development and preservation of the Copeland Creek Buffer Zone on campus. The Copeland Creek Advisory Committee advises and assist the Director of Campus Planning in monitoring, studying, and assessing impacts of development and restoration.
Contracts and Collaborations
- Native Plant Propagation Services – Over the last decade, SCWA has hired SSU faculty and staff (Caroline Christian, Karen Tillinghast and others) to grow native plants from local stock to supply regional restoration efforts. The plants are grown in part by students taking ENSP's Native Plant Propagation courses.
- Sonoma County Youth Ecology Corps - SSU, SCWA, and Sonoma County Adult Youth Development (SCAYD) partnered to create learning opportunities for disadvantaged youth on the SSU campus and Fairfield Osborn Preserve. 2012 News Center Article
- Biological Consulting - Biology Professors Nick Geist and Derek Girman have provided services to SCWA for studies of wildlife.
Internships and Graduate Hires
- SCWA Water Education Program - SCWA provides environmental education training sessions for disadvantaged youth as part of the Sonoma County Youth Ecology Corps program. SSU students are regularly hired as as summer interns for this program, providing 11 weeks of training for work crews.
- After graduation many SSU students are hired by Sonoma County Water Agency in area of planning, education and research.
Restoration Projects and Activities
SCWA and SSU have common interests in creating conditions on Copeland Creek that maintain flood capacity while enhancing diversity of species in the riparian corridor. Restoration projects on the Creek have included:
- Friends of Copeland Creek projects (SSU)
- Native Plant Propagation (SSU/SCWA)
- Sonoma County Youth Ecology Corps (SSU/SCWA)
- Join Us Making Progress (SSU) - JUMP is a community service program of the Associated Students Inc. and organizes service and advocacy opportunities. JUMP's Ecoprojects regularly participate in creek restoration projects with Cotati Creek Critters, Laguna de Santa Rosa Foundation, Friends of Copeland Creek, and SSU Classroom Garden.
- Copeland Creek Restoration Project (SCWA)
Regulations and Permitting
SCWA and SSU regulatory responsibilities on Copeland Creek vary by reach:
- Laguna de Santa Rosa to Hwy 101: SCWA Owned in Fee Engineered Channel; SSU none
- Hwy 101 to SSU campus: SCWA Easement Engineered Channel; SSU none
- SSU campus: SCWA Easement Modified Channel; SSU Copeland Creek Master Plan and Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan
SCWA Regulatory Documents include:
SSU Regulatory Documents include:
- Copeland Creek Master Plan - The Director of Campus Planning is responsible for administering the Copeland Creek Master Plan, a working document that establishes guiding principles, goals, and actions for development and preservation of the Copeland Creek Buffer Zone on campus. The Copeland Creek Advisory Committee advises and assist the Director of Campus Planning in monitoring, studying, and assessing impacts of development and restoration.
- Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan - The plan identifies and evaluates sources of pollutants and implements site-specific best management practices (BMPs) to reduce or prevent pollutants entering the Creek. Environmental Health & Safety staff are primarily responsible for implementing the Plan.
SSU Courses, Activities and Projects in Local Watersheds
SSU involvement with watershed related issues are campus-wide, involving students, faculty and staff in the Schools of Social Sciences, Science and Technology, Business and Economics, Education, and Arts and Humanities. Academic engagement has included Master’s Theses, internships, class projects, and contracts for work on topics related to restoration, regional planning, water quality, flood control, and watershed management.
- Water Works - Water Works explores inland water flow as a resource, theme, and metaphor, through a year (2012-2013) of academics, fine arts, and live theatre and dance.Coordinated by the Department of Theatre Arts & Dance in the School of Arts and Humanities.
- Copeland Creek Project - Through this interview-based ensemble piece, created with the Acting Block of the Department of Theatre Arts & Dance, we’ll hear the voices of the Creek’s waters, of creation itself, and how they flow in, through, and out of our lives. Performances spring 2012.
- Copeland Creek Reader - Readings for Art & Dance's Copeland Creek Project
- Water Works Lecture Series
- Sustainable Waterways Educational Engagement Program (SWEEP) - SSU's Learn and Serve America Grant (PI: Merith Weisman, Center for Community Engagement) in 2010-11 offered engaged students in projects on topics related to sustainable watersheds in Copeland Creek and adjacent properties:
- Michael Cohen (Biology) – Microbial monitoring of Copeland Creek
- Nathan Rank (Biology) – Aquatic Invertebrates
- Farid Farahmand (Engineering) –
- Caroline Christian (Environmental Studies and Planning) – Grasslands Restoration
- Mike Perri (Chemistry) – Water quality monitoring of Copeland Creek
- Masters Theses - Over 40 SSU students have completed Master's degrees on freshwater and local marine topics.
- Geography Department Courses
- Center for Interdisciplinary Geospatial Analysis (CIGA): Outstanding Student Projects: GIS Hydrologic Modeling in Copeland Creek , Sonoma County, Elizabeth Lotz, 2001(pdf link is dead)
- Physical Geography - Involves Copeland Creek in Lab Exercise 3; Exercise 5:
- Field Methods - Involves Copeland Creek Lab Exercise
- Engineering Science Department Courses
- Copeland Creek Brass Quintet - Founded in 2004 by music educators at Sonoma State University, Copeland Creek Brass plays brass music to suit all tastes, from the timeless Canzoni of the Italian Baroque to Dixie, Broadway and Americana. Instrumentalists include David Fichera, trumpet and arranger; Bob Jackson, horn; Brian Wilson, trombone, keyboard and arranger; Paul Hanna, tuba; Ruth Wilson, horn.
- Library Projects