The Newspaper of the San Francisco Bay Chapter
May - June 2006
Creeks Task Force boosts Berkeley watersheds
Creeks and watersheds are central to the ecological health of any place, and Berkeley's waterways may soon see brighter days. The final recommendations of the city's Creeks Task Force include several points that the Sierra Club had pressed for to achieve strong creek protection and restoration:
After more than a year of testimony from scientific experts, environmental attorneys, agency representatives, city officials and planning staff, and the general public - including both creek-advocacy and homeowner groups - the Task Force also recommended a ban on any additional impervious surfaces within the setback area, and stressed the importance of managing and restoring our creeks and watersheds in a holistic, comprehensive way across the entire city.
As one of many advocates for strong creek regulations, the Sierra Club's voice lent great weight to the process, with Club members speaking at public hearings, writing letters to the Task Force, and joining in the passionate voices that argued for a good environmental policy that protects against flooding and property damage, improves water quality, and enhances fish and wildlife habitat.
The battle, however, is far from over! The Task Force recommendations have now gone to the city Planning Commission, and will also go to the City Council. Implementation hinges on the Council's adopting them in a city ordinance. There is pressure from some quarters to weaken the ordinance; we must continue to speak out in support of a strong ordinance.
In the spring there will be at least one public hearing on the creeks ordinance. We will need even more speakers and letters than before. To be informed about the hearings, contact Mike Daley at mdaley -at- sfbaysc.org or (510) 848-0800, ext. 304. Come speak up!
Equally important, write letters to Berkeley City Councilmembers now, at:
Berkeley Mayor and City Council
Ask that your letter be distributed to the full Council.
Urge them to fully support the recommendations of the Berkeley Creeks Task Force, and not to weaken them.
For further information, please contact Juliet Lamont, at jlamont -at- creekcats.com or (510) 909-5403.
© 2006 San Francisco Sierra Club Yodeler
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