Who is GWC?
Members of the Gallinas Watershed Council (GWC) are volunteers who are working to achieve and maintain a healthy and vital watershed.
Our goal is to unite with all stakeholders to steward our watershed community.
We invite you to join us!
Gallinas Watershed Council’s Mission
- Connect the people who live and work and play in Las Gallinas Valley with their creek and watershed
- Advance local conservation action
- Promote watershed restoration, protection and education
- A watershed is a place in the landscape, a unit of earth through which water travels from hilltop to ocean. Threads of water move over, on and through a watershed, connecting all things within – human, natural and man-made.
- A watershed is also a turning point that drives new ways of thinking or acting. Passage through a watershed moment changes perspective and perception – typically an altered course of action results.
- Watershed Stewardship: Choosing to manage our actions or lands in watershed units, to better align our human influences with the natural processes at work in the landscape.
Our Watershed Vision
(This is an idealized description of the Gallinas Watershed that, through our actions, we strive to achieve and maintain.)
Our community is comprised of a diverse population of residents and businesses who treasure and are actively involved in the stewardship of the watershed.
Contiguous public open spaces, from headwaters to bay, are ecologically linked by a greenway park and promenade that is used by people and wildlife.
Gallinas Creek’s historic bay lands, South and North forks are restored, clean and accessible. A robust population of clapper rail, steelhead trout and birds flourish in the restored creek.
The greenway park promenade becomes the preferred route to schools and shopping. Gallinas Watershed communities from Santa Venetia to Terra Linda are connected and strengthened by this thriving neighborhood and ecological corridor. Children play and people gather beside its tree-shaded waters. Headwaters (the source of our streams, supporting native plant communities) are protected and accessible in the open space hills.
Source waters are untapped, preserving seasonal seeps and springs that feed clean, cool flowing streams. Oak savannah and wooded hills remain, speckled with spring wildflowers and carpeted with native grasses that ripple in the breeze like ocean waves.
Communities embrace the headlands, greenway and bay lands as assets for both commercial and residential elements of the urban landscape. In bay land and streamside communities, flood protection needs are identified and addressed. With historic bay lands restored, tidal creeks are naturally sustained by daily tidal exchange so that dredging is no longer required. Captured rainwater soaks into gardens so that runoff is clean and minimal. Green streets and sidewalks treat runoff before it reaches Gallinas Creek and San Pablo Bay.
In winter months, ball fields, parks and floodplains pond with storm water, easing flood hazards and reducing erosion.
Residents rebuild community by getting out of their cars and meeting their neighbors as they safely travel to work and school. Embraced in the restored watershed, they are at home.
All residents are caretakers in a watershed. Called stewards, we are guardians of the landscapes we inhabit.
Our lives are a passing moment in geologic time. With care, we remove seemingly indelible impacts on our watersheds. These actions, embraced by future generations, improve the health of our watershed and, in turn, our health and that of our children.
We hope this inspires your watershed vision and a positive stewardship of the habitat that is your home.
A Vision for Marin County Watersheds
Marin watersheds share common features that unify our communities. Because of their small and intimate size, we can know the folds of our hills, drink from their sources, and traverse from headwaters to bay or ocean on an afternoon jaunt.
The beauty is spectacular, and the landscape rich with habitat which, elsewhere, is now largely lost to the overbuilt world that surrounds most cities.
To preserve and protect these values, Marin County adopts a watershed management approach integrating community maintenance, land use planning and climate adaption. To support this effort, watershed stewardship groups throughout Marin County join together to empower watershed change.
A new economic model is devised in which existing communities provide revenue needed for their management, maintenance and watershed stewardship. The ecological impacts of our communities are mitigated within our watersheds, and our natural resources are sustained.
Over time, the efficiency in our built environment increases, and our watersheds become ecologically and economically self-sustaining.
We invite you to locate yourselves in Marin watersheds
· Focus your mental lens on the landscape, at a micro and a macro scale.
· Consider your location in the watershed (hills, valley, bay land, creekside, beach) while driving, sleeping, working, or playing.
· Envision the natural resources, plants and animals that share your landscape (past, present, and future).
· Soak in the beauty; be aware and choose the impacts of your stewardship.