GPS Creek Surveys
Thank you to all of you who participated in this year's GPS Surveys! We had a great time and accomplished a lot, despite the restrictions due to my foot. Thank you for your dedication to our program and please stay in touch! ~michelle
Using Global Positioning System (GPS) technology, volunteers monitor the current conditions of their neighborhood creeks. In the summer and fall adventurous volunteers wade into local creeks, mapping the physical attributes of the stream channel (substrate, canopy cover, bank characteristics, etc.), extent and type of native and invasive vegetation, and human influences (outfalls, dams, etc.).
Joining a data collection event is a fun way to explore parts of your urban environment most people never see. GPS Creek Surveys are more than just fun…they’re science!
Not sure what a GPS Creek Survey looks like? Check out the beginning of Episode 26 for clips from our survey in Rheem Creek with EarthTeam and some intrepid high school students: http://www.thegreenscreentv.net/episodes.php
Creek Channel Surveying
By walking the creek channels in the County, we are able to document many different aspects of the channel that are too fine to detect on aerial photographs. Creek surveys provide up-to-date information on the state of the creeks, helping us identify sources of pollution and areas for habitat restoration. The scientific data we collect are used by a number of organizations working to protect and restore our aquatic resources in the Bay Area.
Our Global Positioning System (GPS) Creek Survey program has established protocols that combines the precision of GPS technology with the detail of a traditional creek survey. Unlike GPS car navigational systems that identify locations on a map, our creek surveys actually help improve existing and create new maps. If you have GIS software and would like a copy of the creek or waterbody layers for the County, those can be found here.
All the other data is available here [insert link to ftp site with login information].
As we walk through the creek, looking at the habitat and man-made structures, we enter information into our GPS units.