After six years of research and intense negotiations, the Berkeley-based Waterways Restoration Institute (WRI) and Urban Creeks Council (UCC) reached an agreement with local property owners and other stakeholders to break ground on a project that will daylight a 3,000-foot stretch of Codornices Creek along the border of Albany and Berkeley in the East Bay. When the University of California planned to renovate a graduate student housing complex that sat on top of the creek, the stream advocates saw an “opportunity to push for creek restoration,” says Roger Leventhal, one of the project’s engineers.
In September, biologists discovered a surprisingly large population of more than 100 trout during restoration work along the lower reaches of the creek. Researchers are now using genetic analysis to determine whether any of the fish are endangered steelhead trout, rather than nearly identical rainbows.
The work is funded by grants from the state Department of Water Resources and the City of Albany. By the summer of 2005, the creek will meander through revegetated creek banks, under viewing platforms, and alongside a bike path and pedestrian walk-way from the railroad tracks to San Pablo Avenue, just east of the Bay. To find out more, visit www.urbancreeks.org, where you can sign up for UCC’s Creek Currents newsletter.