Water: Nonpoint Source Success Stories
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California: Chorro Creek
Watershed Restoration Efforts Improve Dissolved Oxygen Levels
Waterbody ImprovedExcess nutrients from urban and agricultural runoff in the Chorro Creek watershed contributed to the growth of nuisance algae. The breakdown of the algae caused dissolved oxygen levels in Chorro Creek to decline, preventing the creek from supporting its cold freshwater habitat designated use. As a result, California's Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board (CCRWQCB) added 14 miles of Chorro Creek to California's 1998 Clean Water Act (CWA) section 303(d) list of impaired waters for dissolved oxygen. Public and private landowners implemented a variety of water quality restoration efforts to reduce nutrients, including upgrading a wastewater treatment plant, restoring wetlands and stream channels, removing livestock grazing from riparian areas, and controlling erosion. Water quality improved, and the CCRWQCB has proposed removal of Chorro Creek from the state's 2008 CWA section 303 (d) list of impaired waters for dissolved oxygen.