BRING BACK THE STREAMS! ONE STREAM AT A TIME…
WHO IS MOUNTAINS RESTORATION TRUST?
We are a non-profit organization who have dedicated ourselves as stewards of the Santa Monica Mountains. We are caretakers of the land, preserving its natural beauty for future generations.It’s a daunting task for sure. The eco-system seems so fragile. How can it survive the assaults of pollution, invasive species, development, and climate change?
We won’t pretend to have all the answers, but we seek out and provide opportunities to be part of the solution. We believe in a multi-faceted approach that includes all parties and points of view, working together towards a holistic understanding of the human role in the environment.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO “BRING BACK THE STREAMS”?
We are proud to have started a wide variety of projects, from land acquisition and trail building to woodland and aquatic restoration. What unites all of these projects are the streams, which run from the tops of the mountains out to the sea.
Streams and creeks are the lifeline of the mountains, like the veins in our body. They nourish the entire organism. They can become riddled with plaque choking the circulation — trash, waste material, invasive species, and other forms of pollution. To have healthy mountains, with vibrant flora and fauna, it is necessary for the water to flow, Native plant species on the banks of these waterways help support local native wildlife, allow for the frogs and the newts to propagate, and for the fish and the birds to reestablish themselves.
By bringing back the streams, we revitalize our native stream ecosystem of the Santa Monica Mountains. One creek, one stream at a time.
WE CAN DO THIS, BUT WE NEED YOUR HELP
Dry Canyon Creek is a success story in our own backyard. Through the hard work of our staff, consultants, volunteers, and generous donors, we have transformed the headwaters of the Los Angeles River from a weed-choked dumping ground to a healthy, vibrant environment. Along with the regrowth of native plants, indigenous critters are finally moving back home, including frogs.
Frogs are the ecological equivalent of canaries in the mine. All over the planet, their diminishing numbers have been alarm bell warning us of dangers to our environment.
Here in the Santa Monica Mountains, our Bring Back the Streams! campaign plans to intensify existing efforts to rid the creeks of one of the biggest threats — the invasive red swamp crayfish from Louisiana.
Call them crayfish, crawfish, or crawdads, these alien invaders are hazardous to the health of our streams and dangerous for aquatic wildlife populations. They make snacks out of frogs’ eggs and baby newts. While they’re around, amphibians don’t have a chance! They have no natural predators here in Southern California. Unless we step in.
We are the people who use the mountains for recreation, for solitude, for fresh air. We are the people who thrill to see animals in the wild, who photograph the views. We, the people who build our homes close to nature, who study the wild flowers and watch the birds, who shut down our laptops on a Saturday afternoon and take our kids for a hike.
One stream at a time. It is possible, and it can be done.
We are trapping and removing the crayfish, the same way our great-grandfathers in the old days used to do it. One by one, we pull traps from the creeks, manually removing hundreds of thousands of crayfish from the waterways. With our naturalists and biologists, volunteers from local communities go on trapping expeditions in Malibu and Las Virgenes Creeks almost every week, making a huge difference in the native amphibian population.
We intend to expand this effort to include other creeks and streams. Part of that plan includes the acquisition of small parcels of land along Cold Creek and La Sierra Creek where a number of small feeders and tributaries are located. Homebuilders are included in these discussions so that thoughtful consciousness occurs in determining new sites.
MOUNTAINS RESTORATION TRUST IS TAKING UP THE MANTLE…
…because we can do this. Our plan seems compact in size, but we have our eye on the bigger picture. We are partnering with other conservation groups. We are teaming up with naturalists, educators, city officials, business leaders, and ardent nature lovers. With so many different perspectives and experience levels, we can focus on different strategies for different needs.
As a non-profit organization, we are committed to being transparent and accountable. As a non-governmental organization, we have the flexibility to be innovative in the actions we take to protect our natural environment. In a time when the federal and state governments are pushing fracking on federal lands thinking of selling protected parklands, we are making it our mission to protect the land in perpetuity.
Mark Twain’s favorite amphibian is the “Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County,” a nickname for none other than the once plentiful California Red Legged Frog. With streams and creeks running unimpeded and restored to pre-polluted states, this local legend hops off the endangered species list and returns to the Santa Monica Mountains.
Please join our campaign and help us Bring Back the Streams!
How can you get involved?
Come join us at our Crayfish Removal Open House events, every Saturday from October 7th to December 16th!!