Mark Prado, MARIN INDEPENDENT JOURNAL
For the past seven weeks crews at Green Gulch Farm Zen Center have been rerouting a creek closer to its original path to help an endangered species’ chance for survival.
They have been using machinery and muscle to reshape lower Green Gulch Creek, a tributary to Redwood Creek near Muir Beach, one of the few remaining bodies of water to support endangered coho salmon.
“We are trying to provide a little piece of heaven for young fish here,” said Liza Prunuske, co-owner of Sebastopol-based Prunuske Chatham Inc., an environmental restoration business that is doing the work. “We had lost all the habitat here that fish needed.”
At one time Green Gulch Creek meandered from its headwaters through a valley floor before connecting to Redwood Creek. But as the valley was farmed the creek was pushed to the side into a ditch, part of it lined with concrete. When it rained, water moved rapidly through the straight ditch, making for poor habitat.
But that has changed over the past several weeks as the twisty nature of the creek has been restored, which will allow for slower waters. Parts of trees from the site also have been placed in the creek to provide breaks to calm waters so fish can rest. In addition, a flood plain was created, providing another place for fish to relax and retain energy as they make their way in and out of the area.