Restoration Potential of a Mining-Impacted Urban Stream: Horseshoe Branch of Lion Creek, Oakland, CA

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Hackenjos, Bethany ; Woelfle-Erskine, Cleo ; Wood, Jacob (2010)
  • Publisher: eScholarship, University of California
  • Subject: Physical Sciences and Mathematics | Environmental Monitoring | Geomorphology | Sedimentology | Water Resource Management

Horseshoe Creek, located in the Oakland Hills of California, flows through a remnant oak and redwood forests in Horseshoe Canyon. From the 1880s through the 1930s, nearby Leona sulfur mine deposited massive tailings piles in the valleys east of Horseshoe Creek. During that time, clear-cut logging of redwoods denuded and destabilized the surrounding hillsides. Today, most of Horseshoe Creekʼs upper and middle reaches are either culverted or transformed into an engineered channel, and Merritt College sits on top of the filled valleys that once formed its headwaters. Drawing from Past studies that have assessed heavy metals distribution and transport, we investigate the restoration potential of this highly impacted urban stream. In doing so, we consider the causes and effects of ecological degradation, identify areas for future study, and propose restoration actions.
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