Alameda Creek Alliance


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Protect Wildlife from Pesticides

Reducing pesticide use in the watershed and implementing the federal ban on use of certain pesticides near salmon streams

The Alameda Creek Alliance is working to end the use of harmful pesticides on public lands in the watershed. Several nurseries on land leased from the SFPUC in the Sunol Valley use a variety of pesticides in proximity to Alameda Creek, including some pesticides of concern for impacts to native fish and amphibians. Even small amounts of pesticide residues in water, sediment and aquatic vegetation can harm fish, amphibians and the macro-invertebrates which are the food base for life in the creek. Rodenticides continue to be used in some of the regional parks in the watershed. Secondary poisoning of hawks, owls, foxes and other wildlife occurs when predators eat the squirrels and gophers that have been poisoned with dangerous anticoagulant rodenticides.

Fishing and anti-toxics groups won restrictions on use of 38 known harmful pesticides in buffer areas along salmon streams in Washington, Oregon and California in 2004. The Environmental Protection Agency requires no-spray buffers along steelhead and salmon-bearing streams for these pesticides and point-of-sale warnings for products containing seven pesticides that have polluted urban salmon streams: SALMON HAZARD: This product contains pesticides that may harm salmon or steelhead. Use of this product in urban areas can pollute salmon streams. Urban home and garden stores in the Alameda Creek watershed that sell pesticides are now required to post this salmon hazard warning sign. There is also a need to educate homeowners and landowners about alternatives to toxic pesticides.