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Citizen Science at Donkey Creek

Join us at Donkey Creek:

The current restoration work at Donkey Creek is a rare and unique opportunity to observe how change may impact ecosystems. We are delighted to have the funding to provide a series of citizen science opportunities at this site and YOU are invited! We have already taken a closer look at the intertidal area during last month's Beach Monitoring event. Now it is time to take a closer look at the stream:

July 16th, Donkey Creek........................10:30 - 2:30 pm

These special citizen science events are a chance for you to get out and experience the Puget Sound in an entirely new way. At this event, you will be introduced to the stream conditions that indicate a healthy stream. You will be guided through various tests for pH, turbidity, dissolved oxygen, temperature, and macroinvertebrates. This information will help us determine if Donkey Creek is indeed healthy. Yes! You get to do real science that may benefit the places that we love.

If you are interested in participating or have any questions, contact:

Naturalist, Stena Troyer:stena@harborwildwatch.org

(It is also okay to just show up, day of the event)

What do you need for an event?

  • The most important thing is to dress for the weather. You are by no means required to stay for the entire monitoring event but if you do, staying comfortable throughout the event is easier if you are prepared to handle the elements- ('Tis the season for sunscreen, hats, and shades).
  • Pack a lunch- we will be taking a brief picnic break between surveys.
    • Challenge- see how waste free you can be, think reusable.
  • Appropriate shoes- Warning there will be mud, closed toed sandals or boots are recommended.
  • Stay hydrated- We will have access to the Harbor History Museum facilities but packing a water bottle will keep you in on the action even if thirst strikes!
  • Bring a friend! Anyone is welcome to come and learn more about their local environment and what we can do to help protect it!

Why Donkey Creek?

Located at the head of Gig Harbor, Donkey Creek is a tributary that feeds into Austin Estuary. Donkey Creek Park and Austin Estuary Park border the creek and make up 13 acres of uplands and tidelands - home to a variety of marine and terrestrial species, including eagles, great blue herons, harbor seals and, most notably, Chum salmon. Donkey Creek was modified in 1950 when Harborview Drive was constructed and two culverts were installed, severely restricting the water flow into Austin Estuary. In the 2009-2013 KGI Watershed Action Agenda, the KGI Watershed Council listed Donkey Creek as one of ten high priority restoration sites. Recognizing the environmental importance of this site, the City of Gig Harbor replaced the roadway and culverts with a bridge that "daylights" the creek and restores traditional water flow into Austin Estuary. Completed in September 2013, this project facilitates a unique opportunity to provide environmental education opportunities that attract residents and visitors to the area as well as a beautiful park to enjoy.

Stay tuned for another upcoming opportunity:

Join Harbor WildWatch for an "Oyster Blitz". Oysters provide numerous ecological, economical, and recreational benefits. In order to know if there are existing populations of native oysters in Austin Estuary, we have to look! Join the Harbor WildWatch team during the low tide for an all out search for Olympia oysters- the prelude to more exciting citizen science events.

Aug 8th, Austin Estuary.............Morning low tide- exact time T.B.D.

Again, If you are interested in participating or have any questions, contact:

Naturalist, Stena Troyer:

stena@harborwildwatch.org

For more information, visit: www.harborwildwatch.org