Help biologists track and better understand the factors that lead to roadkill of wildlife. Please report your roadkill observations to the California Roadkill Observation System by clicking here.
Water Quality Monitoring
The RCDSMM Topanga Creek Stream Team coordinated citizen volunteer monitoring of water quality in Topanga Creek from 1999-2004. We also collect water quality data as part of biological monitoring studies for fishes, amphibians and macro-invertebrates. The RCDSMM recently monitored both Topanga and Zuma Lagoons as part of the Southern California Coastal Water Research Project (SCCWRP) Eutrophication Study of the Southern California Bight.
- Site selection and watershed level stream order analysis
- In-situ data collection (air and water temperature, pH, conductivity, Dissolved oxygen, salinity, algae, etc.)
- Nutrient analysis (collect samples for lab analysis or in-house analysis using LaMotte Colorimeter 2)
- Bacteria sample collection (fecal coliform, total coliform, E. coli, Enterococcus, DNA samples) for virus and bacteriodes
- Heavy metals sample collection
- Isotope sample collection
- In-situ YSI 6600 Data Sondes management and maintenance
- Instream temperature monitors (HOBO Tidbits) management and maintenance
- Smaller coastal stream flow measurements and calculations
Santa Monica Bay Watershed Monitoring - Collaborative Mapping Effort
The RCD, in partnership with Heal the Bay, has initiated a collaborative effort to map the locations of water quality (and other aquatic resource) monitoring within the Santa Monica Bay Watershed. For more information about the map and project, click here:
Endangered Fishes Monitoring
The RCDSMM biologists hold relevant permits and have been conducting studies of endangered southern steelhead trout (O. mykiss) and tidewater gobies (E. newberryi) within the Santa Monica Bay since 1995. We currently deploy the only instream antenna array to monitor migration of southern steelhead trout in southern California.
- Instream habitat mapping according to CDFG protocols
- Snorkel surveys
- Spring spawning and redd surveys
- Seine and trapping monitoring
- Instream antenna array monitoring and maintenance
- Scale reading for age/size analysis
- Tagging using Passive Integrated Transponders (PIT)
- Fin clip collection for DNA analysis
- Grunion run monitoring
Amphibian and Southwestern Pond Turtle Monitoring
The RCDSMM helped establish the protocol for monitoring amphibians and reptiles in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area in 2000. Our biologists and Stream Team members have conducted annual amphibian surveys in Topanga Creek, monitoring trends in population abundance and diversity.
Since 2002, RCDSMM staff and Topanga Stream Team members have collected data on southwestern pond turtles in the Topanga Creek Watershed. The goals of the project included answering questions about turtle presence, location, population structure, recruitment, nesting sites, movement patterns, survival ratio, and preferred habitat. We currently hold permits to capture, tag and radio track southwestern pond turtles throughout the Santa Monica Mountains.
As part of the amphibian surveys, RCDSMM biologists and trained volunteers have collected macro-invertebrate samples annually in Topanga Creek since 2000.
- Macroinvertebrate surveys according to CDFG California Stream Bioassessment protocols
- Associated instream habitat evaluation and water quality parameter data collection
The RCDSMM established a monitoring program for bats under bridges in the Topanga Creek watershed for Los Angeles County in 1996. Biologists trained volunteers conduct annual outflight counts and monitor population abundance at three bridges.
- Outflight monitoring of bridges
- Mist netting to identify species
- Roost exclusion
Biological Construction Monitoring
RCDSMM biologists have served as biological monitors for various public works and habitat restoration projects where sensitive biological resources are present. Our staff has ensured that all permit requirements and mitigation measures are followed for projects subject to CEQA/NEPA. Most recently, the RCDSMM provided biological monitoring for the Topanga Creek Rodeo Grounds Berm Removal project, guiding excavation crews on streambed protection, location of stranded fishes, nesting bird protection, exotic vegetation removal, and native tree protection measures.