The Martinez Flood Plain project was intended to improve the capacity and health of the creek, and reassure downtown property owners that high waters could be managed.
Beaver supporters expressed concern about the plan to remove all vegetation from the east bank of the water between Marina Vista and Amtrak. We were initially offered a 2-foot strip of vegetation preserved, and eventually this was increased to six feet.
When the work began Monday (Sept. 15), it was with that design in mind. The silt fence went up, the six feet of vegetation was preserved, and a biologist was on hand with binoculars to spot for any wildlife that might get in the way of the bulldozer. Beaver supporters breathed a sigh of relief, and headed off about their days’ work.
While they were gone, however, the project was reviewed by the city, with concern that “this wasn’t enough.” Engines churned and by the end of the day there was no vegetation all the way to the creek, the silt fence had been moved and soil from the work was spilling into the water.
Whatever reeds were left were trampled by the swinging arm of the bulldozer. In response to outcries of alarm, the buffer for the remaining section of the creek widened, perhaps to three feet, where it hovers now. Only time will tell if this strip of vegetation will also suddenly found to be “too much.”
So far the beavers are coping fine, but beaver-watchers are biting their nails.
Heidi Perryman, President & Founder, Worth A Dam
Sounds like the City of Martinez would REALLY like it if the beavers decided to pick up and move, doesn’t it? But that’s no surprise. Stripping the vegetation from the banks around them and polluting the water where they live with dirt isn’t exactly being subtle about it.
I’m not too sure the Department of Fish and Game would be happy with the city for polluting the creek with dirt. There are other wild creatures besides beavers living in the creek. /Gary
To learn more about what’s happening with the Martinez beavers visit: