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Toad Creek Watershed Steward Certification Survey: for Individuals
San Luis Obispo County experiences episodic droughts and has had an “exceptional” drought, as defined by the US Drought Monitor, in previous years. Despite the lack of water, flooding in the rainy season is still a perennial problem in the county. Large engineering projects can combat some of these flooding issues but these projects are expensive and difficult to implement and maintain. However, there are practices businesses and individuals can implement in order to reduce flood potential in the winter and improve water flow in the summer. This guide is specifically targeted towards private landowners in Templeton, California to allow them to assess how well they are doing in regard to water conservation and storm water mitigation. Every measure landowners take in these two fields will help the main watershed in Templeton; the Toad Creek watershed.

Toad Creek, the main water body in the Toad Creek watershed, starts east of Highway 101 in Templeton with a southern and northern branch. These branches flow under Highway 101 and converge west of the highway at the beginning of Salinas Road. The creek runs west along Salinas Road until Florence Avenue, where it bends to the northeast and runs along the length of Old County Road and North Main Street. Toad Creek crosses Main Street and the Union Pacific Rail Road (UPRR) tracks before joining with the Salinas River, which flows from south to north along the east side of town. As Toad Creek flows through Templeton, its path intersects various roads. At these crossings, the creek is either funneled through culverts or surpassed by bridges; however, these areas also become points that concentrate flow in large rain events, making them prone to flooding. Businesses and individuals doing their part to take up water before it hits the creek can lessen this flooding.

In this guide, landowners will be able to conduct a self-assessment of the conservation and storm water mitigation strategies they currently practice. Individuals that conduct a self-assessment and qualify as a Steward will be given the appropriate promotional materials (e.g. marketing tools, website exposure, information materials), and offered resources if there is a desire to increase their stewardship level. The USLTRCD will maintain an online database listing potential funding sources individuals could use if they want to implement a certain project.

Following the self-assessment, there is a series of brochures that mention each improvement or practice included in the assessment. This information discusses the reasoning behind each potential improvement to allow the individual to determine the best course of action to improve their impact on the watershed.

Please answer these questions honestly and to the best of your ability. Thank you for participating in this project to improve the health of our local Toad Creek Watershed.

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