Napa River after restoration of flood plain with the City of Napa in the background

Napa River after restoration of flood plain with the City of Napa in the background

Who we are: CUSP was founded  in 2012 by founders, staffs and past board members of the Urban Creeks Council to revitalize the urban streams movement in California.  The partnership is a project of the Earth Island Institute and administered though a Statewide Steering Committee, Sacramento Urban Creeks Council and Santa Barbara Urban Creeks Council, and approximately another 150 partners statewide.

ecovillage field trip Oct 2018 Tamira Jones , Shyaam Shabaka, Peterson (1).JPG

Mission: The California Urban Streams Partnership is an organization of local, regional and statewide groups that protect, restore, and steward urban streams. We are an advocacy organization for urban wildlife, increasing the quality of city life and neighborhoods, and returning functioning ecosystems to urban environments.

A CUSP sponsored hands on soil bio-engineering workshop the Martinez alternative high school. (2017)

A CUSP sponsored hands on soil bio-engineering workshop the Martinez alternative high school. (2017)

Histories & Activities: The members of the California Urban Streams Partnership have a thirty year history (since 1982 ) of pioneering in organizing, funding, designing, constructing, and evaluating urban stream restoration projects. Our partners have been involved in nationally significant innovations in replacing  the conventional engineering of concrete and rock channels with design approaches and techniques that foster ecologic benefits. This new generation of urban stream restoration projects reduces flood risks and damages, brings native fish populations back to cities, and improves business districts and neighborhoods.  A few notable examples include:

  • the restoration of the San Luis Obispo Creek and business district; restoration of the Napa River and its downtown

  • protecting and restoring  Tecolote Canyon as a natural area of San Diego

  • transforming  Dry and Linda creeks into community amenities in Roseville as greenways

  • and restoring salmonid habitat and migration corridors in Mission Creek ,Santa Barbara and Putah Creek flowing though Davis and Winters.

The urban streams movement pioneered environmental projects for disadvantaged communities starting in the early 1980’s.  Examples of these efforts include the award winning Wildcat Creek flood risk reduction/restoration project in North Richmond, creek projects in the Oakland flat-lands, and organizing national networks including the cities of Portland, New Orleans, New York, Chicago, and Atlanta. 

Our alliance members introduced the concept of “daylighting” streams which were buried in culverts to serve as sewers, but have been excavated and restored as features of downtowns and urban parks. Napa Creek in the City of Napa and Strawberry and Blackberry Creeks in Berkeley are early examples of creeks once buried and now serving as parks. In addition to natural resource protection and improvement, many projects involve the training and employment of conservation corps and create youth  employment programs.

Classroom stream restoration workshop for Martinez high school. Made possible by the Schwemm Family Foundation.

Classroom stream restoration workshop for Martinez high school. Made possible by the Schwemm Family Foundation.

 
 
 
 
 
 
CUSP training community college youth in surveying streams.

CUSP training community college youth in surveying streams.