As you drive along the coast on Highway 1, long, jagged ruptures are clearly visible on the hillsides – the result of the powerful erosive effects of water and wind on the land.
These are erosion gullies, and when POST encounters them on our properties, we take measures to heal these scarred landscapes in order to prevent further damage to the land. Left alone, these gullies can be aggravated by rushing water washing away large amounts of soil. This can lead to harmful sedimentation in creeks, streams and rivers, blocking passage for fish and other riparian species and damaging spawning habitat.
POST's Cloverdale Coastal Ranches property has presented an ideal location on which to test various methods for erosion control. Before POST acquired Cloverdale, vegetation, farmland, wildlife habitat and recreational potential all suffered as a result of erosion damage. Our work to control erosion on the property has now prevented tens of thousands of cubic yards of sediment from entering Gazos Creek, which supports threatened steelhead trout and coho salmon. We have repaired unsightly existing and incipient (emerging) gullies on the hillsides, created diversion ditches to change the direction of water runoff, installed check dams to slow the speed and dissipate the energy of the water, and installed culverts to avoid direct impact on creeks and streams. Using the lessons we've learned on Cloverdale, POST has begun to apply similarly successful techniques on its other properties.
Grants from the California Department of Fish and Game, the California Coastal Conservancy, the San Francisco Foundation and the Bella Vista Foundation have supported our erosion control projects on Cloverdale. Through this work, we have prevented the further reduction of plant and animal habitat and succeeded in repairing the scars that disrupt this beautiful landscape.