Caleb Elkind's A Fish Tale , a short documentary about restoring trout to the San Pablo Watershed, won "Best Short Documentary Film by a Middle School Student" at the Lamorinda ShortDocs Film Fest. Learn a little about the natural history of our creek from FOC's Brian Waters and Toris Jaeger. Nice Job Caleb!!
Click here to watch A Fish Tale.
We are sad to report that Maya Fay Rappaport passed away on June 8, 2021, after 13-years of navigating early-onset Alzheimer's. She passed peacefully in the arms of her daughter, Shana.
Maya was born on December 19, 1952 in Los Angeles. She majored in Environmental Studies at UCSF and completed one of the first masters programs in environmental management in Sweden. She later spent a year as a nanny in Paris, thus learning French as well as a bit of Swedish. She married the love of her life, Ben Rappaport, and raised two children, Shana and Amon, both of whom carry on her legacy as stewards of a better, brighter world for all.
In 1993, the Rappaports moved to Orinda and joined Friends of Orinda Creeks. Maya was a remarkable volunteer, dedicated to our creeks and the community as a whole. She served on our Board of Directors for almost 20 years and organized many creek clean up events for the community, until her illness prevented her from continuing.
Maya had a passion for nature and art and was an accomplished pianist and painter, though her greatest passion was always as a steward of planet Earth. She became FOC's vivacious President and inspired some very talented people to join our Board of Directors. At about the same time, she was hired by the City as their “Clean Water” person, overseeing storm water discharges and other tasks. This overlapped with the creek clean-ups she helped run.
The Rappaport family suggests donations can be made to Friends of Orinda Creeks, in recognition of the countless hours Maya spent caring for our watersheds and educating the public to appreciate the value of our creeks
Click here to read FOC's Cinda MacKinnon's tribute to her close friend and colleague Maya.
It has been many years since rainbow trout were spotted in San Pablo Creek in Orinda – until last week. For over ten years, Fisheries biologist Brain Waters and Wildlife biologist Professor Reg Barrett have maintained that San Pablo Creek in Orinda is potential habitat for rainbow trout. They were proved right after EBMUD reported over 100 trout ranging in length from 10-14 inches near the Orinda Filter Plant. This occurred shortly after EBMUD cleared root wads and other debris and removed the metal obstructions in the sluice gate opening of the small (12-foot high) dam (SP201) just upstream of Bear Creek Road - in time for rainbow trout to swim upstream for spawning season.
SP201 sluice gate when clear.
Besides the pleasure of seeing these large fish swimming in our creeks, they are one of the best indicators of creek health. Friends of Orinda Creeks (FOC) has been in negotiation with EBMUD for many years to see this happen and pressed for providing an opening for fish and regular maintenance of the dam.
Trout in San Pablo Creek
On Friday, April 29, 2016, Friends of Orinda Creeks installed a brand new interpretive sign in the Orinda Community Park near the tot structure. It features pictures of San Pablo Creek in downtown Orinda, local wildlife, a map of Orinda's watershed, and information about the creek. The sign was produced and installed in partnership with the City of Orinda with illustrations provided by Doyle Wegner and design by FOC Board Secretary Adriane Bosworth.
FOC Pres Jim Luini, artist Doyle Wegner, Board Members B. Stoops, R. Barrett, B. Waters, A. Bosworth
Naturalist, educator and longtime FOC Board member Toris Jaeger wrote this inspiring article on the Orinda Nature Area, featured in the Lamorinda Weekly
Jim Luini, an Orinda resident and community volunteer for nearly half a century passed away this month at 85 from a non-COVID-19 related illness. Jim was a long-time member and recent President of Friends of Orinda Creeks (FOC). Memorial donations to Friends of Orinda Creeks' Restoration Fund in Jim’s name can be made by clicking on the Donate tab at www.restoresanpablocreek.org. We will all miss Jim.
"... Among Jim’s many passions was the San Pablo Creek that runs through Orinda. A long-time member of Friends of Orinda Creeks and a past president, he not only educated people about the creek, he spent countless hours cleaning out debris and bringing teams of students and scouts to help remove invasive plants like English Ivy and Himalayan Blackberry and to replant with native species. ..."
(From The Orinda News, September 2020, "Jim Luini – The Passing of a True Gentle Man" By SALLY HOGARTY ) Click here for the full article.
Board members from Friends of Orinda Creeks – Leesa Evans, David Hop, Tom Morehouse and Bob Stoops – joined members of the Watershed Project (http://thewatershedproject.org/), led by Helen Fitanides, in surveying the tiny macroinvertebrates living in San Pablo Creek. The survey was conducted in the area between the Miner Road bridge upstream to the 1920 bridge at the end of Orinda Village.
Controlled sampling of these tiny bugs took place in clearly flagged 25-foot sections all along the creek. In addition to the samples, the team measured stream width and average depths of the creek. We hope to have the results of the survey in the next couple of months once they return from the lab. We will post the data on the web site.