California Urban Streams Partnership

The California Urban Streams Partnership (CUSP) is an organization of local, regional and statewide groups working together to protect, restore, and steward urban streams and watersheds in California. CUSP advocates for the improvement of wildlife habitat, the return of functioning ecosystems, and the betterment of urban environments and quality of life. The Schwemm Foundation provided funding for two workshops to teach homeowners and city staff in the San Francisco area communities of Richmond and Oakland how to incorporate soil bioengineering to stop streamside erosion, reduce flooding potential and enhance steelhead habitat on urban streams in those cities. The workshops included approximately 40 people and trained several environmental interns. They also recruited members of the Green Collar Corps – a group that exposes disadvantaged community members to environmental careers – to help facilitate the trainings. CUSP was able to leverage the grant from the Schwemm Family Foundation with other funding sources to purchase tools and supplies needed to conduct the workshops.

2016 Cycle 2 Update

Restore Alhambra and San Leandro Creek Habitats

The California Urban Streams Partnership (CUSP) is an organization of local, regional, and statewide groups working to protect, restore, and steward urban streams and their associated watersheds in California.  Schwemm Family Foundation funds were awarded to this organization (under the umbrella of Earth Island) to support two creek restoration projects along the Alhambra and San Leandro Creeks in the communities of Martinez and San Leandro in Northern California.

The main goal of these projects was to empower local community groups, schools, and public agency staff with the knowledge and experience to enhance and sustain wildlife and fish habitat in their communities of the East San Francisco Bay.  Specifically, hands-on workshops were provided to train these groups in creek restoration techniques geared toward the enhancement of habitat for beaver and steelhead among other wildlife.  Along with the demonstrations provided through this grant, and the associated creek restoration, CUSP supplied additional training focused on sustaining the project over time, something that is critical to the success of this type of restoration work.  A secondary focus of these projects was to address the issues of flooding and erosion related to these urban streams.