Posted on December 10, 2012

Oakley: Community Volunteers Help Restore Creek; PG&E Supports Nature Restoration Trust

Volunteers from PG&E and the local community worked to clean and restore Marsh Creek in Oakley on Saturday. (Photos by Jason King.)

OAKLEY – PG&E, along with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) and community volunteers with the Friends of Marsh Creek Watershed worked to restore three acres of shoreline along Marsh Creek in Contra Costa County in one of the fastest urbanizing watersheds in California.

The restoration effort on Saturday (Dec. 8) helped to create the only shaded habitat for wildlife along a four-mile stretch of land. Shade provided by the restored riparian vegetation will help cool water temperatures and improve spawning and rearing habitat for juvenile salmon.

The Nature Restoration Trust provided $25,000 to support this restoration effort. The Nature Restoration Trust is a partnership between PG&E and the NFWF to bring together public and private resources to conserve and enhance the natural habitats of fish and wildlife. Since 2001, PG&E has committed more than $1 million to this unique, public-private partnership to support habitat and wildlife restoration projects throughout Northern and Central California.

“Funding for projects such as these is important because it allows us to involve the community in restoring Marsh Creek and protecting water quality.  We have found that those who volunteer with us bring home a new view of their creek and a better appreciation for the things they can do personally to help protect their environment,” said Diane Burgis, executive director of the Friends of Marsh Creek Watershed.

Marsh Creek, despite nearby development, still attracts wildlife such as Great White Herons.

She thanked PG&E and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation for their support. “Their grant allows us to expand our habitat restoration projects while fostering stewardship through education, outreach and community service activities,” she said.

Last year FOMCW removed seven tons of trash from waterways, trails and neighborhoods in the area. A new restoration garden helped divert trash from blowing into or being thrown into Marsh Creek.

“PG&E is proud to be part of this project to help protect, conserve, and restore Marsh Creek,” said Diane Ross-Leech, director of environmental policy at PG&E. “Our support is part of the company’s broader commitment to partner with the communities we serve to protect natural resources and educate others about how they can make a difference.”

Long-term goals of the project include recruiting more than 800 community volunteers to work together to reestablish a wildlife corridor between the creek’s protected headwaters on Mount Diablo and the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. This ongoing project is integrated into a work-study program for 15 at-risk youth and provides hands-on training to implement and monitor various restoration activities.

“The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation is extremely proud to collaborate with PG&E and a diverse range of community partners through PG&E’s Nature Restoration Trust,” said Jeff Trandahl, executive director and CEO of Foundation.  “Restoring the health of California’s streams, wetlands, and coastal habitats is a vital task that will benefit both our wildlife and our citizens.”

PG&E’s Diane Ross-Leach. at right, helped present a check from the Nature Restoration Trust to the Friends of Marsh Creek Watershed.

PG&E has a long history of making charitable grants tailored to the wide variety of needs of the communities it serves. The company’s broader program of support to communities includes cash grants, in-kind contributions, and volunteers for community-based nonprofit organizations, and for schools and other governmental programs throughout Northern and Central California. All charitable contributions are entirely funded by shareholders and the level of charitable giving does not affect gas and electric rates.

For more information on PG&E’s Nature Restoration Trust and the utility’s environmental commitment, visit

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