For immediate Release
May 15, 2015
Contact: Marie McCormick, (248) 444=0756
Free public workshop demonstrating Low Impact Development (LID) stormwater pollution and runoff reduction
Sedona, AZ - The Oak Creek Watershed Council (OCWC) will host a two day Community Clean Water Workshop in Sedona, Ariz. at Unity of Sedona, on May 22-23, 2015. This FREE workshop will feature local and regional experts speaking on and demonstrating landscape techniques employed in Northern Arizona to harvest rainwater, reduce erosion and reduce pollution often found in stormwater runoff.
Stream Dynamics, of Silver City, New Mexico will lead participants on a walking tour of the neighborhood to discuss simple, cost-effective solutions to erosion issues, as well as doing several ground-breaking projects which utilize Best Management Practices (BMPs) to slow water enough so it may infiltrate back into the ground, trapping and treating pollutants along the way. Some BMPs include the creation of swales or retention basins, Zuni bowls, rain water harvesting, native plantings and installation of permeable pavement, to name a few. These BMP’s utilize low-cost and approachable solutions that can be easily maintained by participating property owners.
Last November, the OCWC was awarded a $120,040 grant by the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) through the Water Quality Improvement Grant (WQIG) program to address and control polluted runoff in the Carroll Canyon drainage, just south of West Sedona. Mitigation projects focus on the Settlers Rest neighborhood in West Sedona, located near the top of Carroll Canyon. In previous water quality studies done by the OCWC, Carroll Canyon has been found to be the largest single contributing area of E coli bacteria to Oak Creek.
Carroll Canyon drains most of West Sedona into Oak Creek. The area has a number of recreation trails which see heavy use by hikers, bikers, and horseback riders. These uses may be contributing to higher levels of erosion and fecal matter being left to get carried into Oak Creek during storm events. Oak Creek, from its headwaters to around its confluence with the Verde River, is listed as impaired for E. coli bacteria, an indicator of fecal pollution.
“The community of Sedona has a vital role to play in the stewardship of Oak Creek,“ said Ryan Matson OCWC Grant Manager and Board Director. “This project puts private citizens of Sedona in the forefront, and empowers them to become aware of, and more readily address, potential nonpoint pollution sources that may occur on their private property.”
“Nonpoint source pollution like dog and horse waste could eventually end up in Oak Creek, and a distributed, citizen-oriented strategy toward localized treatment and watershed stewardship is a great way to address private property drainage impacts in the Oak Creek Watershed before they reach the creek.”
This project will serve to empower private properties to increase their watershed responsibility and educate them on ways to easily reduce erosion and pollutants that are carried by storm flows. It will also increase the percolation of stormwater into the ground, help native vegetation thrive, and create a community cohesion around stormwater management & stewardship. The goal is to ultimately reduce or eliminate the transport of pollutants like E. coli bacteria into Oak Creek.
“During the last grant we received from ADEQ” said Marie McCormick, OCWC Executive Director, “we were able to develop our Oak Creek Community Outreach Program further with our Education and Outreach Grant. This new grant will enable the OCWC to hit the ground running with low impact design landscape projects, and to educate residents and visitors to our area on the importance of keeping the Creek corridor clean utilizing cost effective measures locals can implement into their own landscape.
Oak Creek is perpetually on the “non-attaining” list due to the persistence of the indicator fecal coliform bacteria Escherichia coli (E. coli) suggesting fecal contamination. This is a potential health issue that is only going to get worse if we all do not become more aware of it and do something about it.
For information about how residents and visitors can learn more about the stewardship of Oak Creek, visit http://www.oakcreekwatershed.org for project specific information please visit http://www.oakcreekwatershed.org/projects/settlers-rest-stormwater-project
The Oak Creek Watershed Council is a nonprofit 501 (c) (3). It is dedicated to maintaining a standard of excellence for watershed stewardship, as well as preserving the integrity of Oak Creek, and its tributaries.
ADEQ's WQIG program is funded through a partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under the Clean Water Act. For more information about the program, visit http://www.azdeq.gov/environ/water/watershed/index.html#wqig