Restoration of our waterways is not a short-term or easy process.
Successful restoration requires the cooperation of many groups
including city and county officials as well as local citizens over a
Stream corridor restoration can be expensive. Streams are dependant
on nature to heal past practices, but nature is not always
predictable. Monitoring during and after the restoration is a way
to help detect problems before they become unmanageable. Monitoring
usually involves looking at the biological, geological,
hydrological, chemical and physical components of the creek.
The biological observation of the stream is probably the most
rewarding to a non-scientist. It involves learning the vegetation
and organisms that live along the creek. It is a life-long skill to
observe and appreciate what nature brings to our doorstep.
Understanding the biological component helps to determine if
restoration was successful or not.
This next section is a compilation of the biological data along the
entire reach of Mission Creek. It includes the different organisms
that live in and along the creek. This is a record of what was
observed over a year’s time, with emphasis on the urban portion of
Mission Creek. It is not a complete list.
assessment of an area is a long and tedious process. This base
survey just reflects the diversity, not abundance or specific
location within the creek. If a stream corridor has an abundance of
larger animals, that infers an ecosystem which is supporting
itself. The food web has an internal structure that supports the
different layers of the food pyramid. The following chapters
document the major plants, vertebrates, and microorganisms.
There are some groups like land arthropods, annelids, and other
small land invertebrates that are missing from this survey. We
tried to concentrate on aquatic and near aquatic area. Although
they are all important, they are not as helpful on monitoring
successful restoration over a long period of time.
The plant section includes aquatic plants, trees, shrubs, other
flower plants, and grasses. The vertebrate section includes
birds, mammals, amphibians, and reptiles. Birds dominate the
section because they reflect the top of the food chain. The
more birds documented the richer the food web supporting those
Aquatic microorganisms are emphasized because they reflect most
accurately the health of the water in which it lives. It can
provide clues on the chemical balance of the creek.