Watershed Restoration is a cooperative partnership between Upper District and the U.S. Forest Service for the purpose of restoring and preserving the local watershed. The Azusa Canyon, situated along Highway 39 in the Angeles National Forest, is a vital part of the watershed. Water from rains and melting snow percolate into the ground, eventually making its way into the groundwater or into local reservoirs within the canyon where it is stored and then released into the spreading grounds as needed.
Trees and other vegetation have roots that help hold the soil in place. Fires, plant disease, insect infestations and human activity all take their toll on the local forest and, when trees and plants die off, it means fewer roots in the ground holding the dirt in place, which results in increased erosion. When snow begins to melt or rain falls, instead of percolating into the ground and making its way into our groundwater, the water is more likely to runoff and simply wash away more layers of soil, causing further erosion. Erosion increases siltation in the local mountain reservoirs, which reduces the water conservation and storage capacity of the reservoirs as well as the percolation capacity of streambeds and spreading grounds.
In January 2016, Upper District was awarded a $65,000 grant from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) to help continue building and expanding its Watershed Restoration efforts. The funding was part of CDFW’s first distribution of Water Quality, Supply and Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2014 (Proposition 1) Restoration Grant Programs.
Volunteers of all ages are encouraged to participate in the Watershed Restoration events, and the opportunity to earn community service hours is an incentive for many local youth to take part in the activity. The events give families an opportunity to spend time together while doing something positive and fun for the environment.
Upper District’s watershed restoration events are typically held four times a year: twice in the Fall and twice in the Spring.
People wishing to volunteer their participation, or wanting to find out more about Watershed Restoration: Please call Upper District at (626) 443-2297 or e-mail Elena@usgvmwd.org.