The mission of Clear Creek Environmental Foundation is to preserve and enhance the Clear Creek and Clear Lake environment to maintain its natural resources and beauty for the present and future. Our organization focus is on two activities. One, cleaning up the mess that already exists and two, trying to stop the destruction of Clear Creek without necessarily stopping others enjoyment of the areas we are trying to preserve.
Education: Provide resources and guidance for education projects to develop a constituency for Clear Creek and Clear Lake environments.
Conservation & Restoration: Develop projects aimed at preserving, enhancing, and returning the natural system and resources to a cleaner and healthier state.
Research: Support the allocation of public and private resources for research into the natural system and resources of the Creek and Lake and ultimately establish a research endowment.
To some people land is nothing more than an “opportunity for growth” but Clear Creek and places like it are true life support systems for humans. They support a circle of life that feeds us, gives us air to breathe, and water to drink. If we slice through this “circle” to chop out some portion for ourselves without considering ways to co-exist within that circle, we will destroy the circle… and ultimately, ourselves.
Discussion of CCEF mission
1. Why: As the 10th most endangered river in America Clear Creek obviously needs all the help it can get to maintain and improve its quality offerings for the wildlife and people who call it home. Clear Creek Cleanup 2000 was the first attempt to reverse the degradation of the Creek by garbage and trash removal.
2. What: We plan to provide services to improve the natural creek by more trash cleanup, education for residents, research into pollution, conservation of the resource, and encourage government and public to treat the creek with respect.
3. Whom: The beneficiaries of our work will be the creeks natural inhabitants like egrets, catfish, shrimp, and the recreational boaters and naturalists. Our wetlands are decreasing rapidly and we need to take care of what we still have.
4. Who: This work will be carried out by volunteers and staff interested in a cleaner environment and healthier waters and wetlands.
5. Where: The creek has a drainage area of approximately 260 sq miles and the lake is surrounded by residential areas and industry. Residents are attracted to the area for its natural waters and we need to preserve some of this natural state for the future.
6. How: This foundation will actively engage in projects to vigorously make the Creek and Lake a better environment for both nature and man. We will be an active group and get out the troops to get some real work done.
As we already pointed out, Clear Creek is a beautiful natural resource in an urban/suburban environment. As a first step CCEF began work in 2000 to clean up trash from the water and shores. Project 2001 was part of a larger effort to clean up the trash alon the banks of Clear Creek. The trash accumulating on the shores and creek edges is the most visible signs of neglect and degradation. The trash project is a good start to increase awareness of the Creek and start the reversal of the Creek from a waste area to a scenic river. As the 10th most endangered river in America the creek obviously needs all the help it can get.
CCEF will tackle other projects on the creek to maintain and enhance its value as a wetland and conserve its natural properties. Clear Creek is the largest tributary for Clear Lake and a valuable resource for many varieties of wildlife and marine life. It is surprising that Clear Lake still has water quality for a healthy marine environment with sport fishes like speckled trout, flounder, and redfish. Shrimp and crabs grow and spawn in the lake and creek to keep the balance of life for the waters. Clear Lake has filled most of its shoreline with developments leaving little wetlands for nursery waters for fish and crustaceans. Clear Creek still has much valuable remaining wetlands and marsh areas that is instrumental in maintaining the balance of nature for the water. The plant life in the water slows and invigorates natural life and purifies the water. Waterfowl around the creek depend on the natural wetlands and marshes for their survival and food.
As the creek goes, so goes the Lake. Armand Bayou is working to improve water quality on that tributary and we plan to do likewise for Clear Creek. Surprisingly there is a major sport fishing center in Clear Lake with guide boats out of South Shore Harbor. Just a few years ago the area of South Shore Harbor was itself a natural site for marine life. CCEF hopes to help maintain this balance of natural life and community side by side. A first step will be to investigate and monitor the waters for quality and marine life. Based on those ongoing assessments we can recommend proper action to maintain and improve the quality of life in the waters.
The Creek must coexist with the communities and population in the area. For both to coexist in the area the population and communities need to be aware of the waters and treat it with respect. For example, one of the simplest solutions is to not pollute the water with trash and garbage to begin with
At one point we took a ride up Clear Creek to take pictures for the web site. We were looking for pictures of wildlife. What we found in more abundance were plastic toys and chairs hanging from trees, tires, plastic pipe, and enough floating garbage to start a landfill. The worst places were near expensive water front homes and “private” parks and the most obvious factor was this – - – the more trash, the less we saw of wildlife.
Point source pollution from wastewater plants and non-point source runoff are extremely important to the quality of the Creek and Lake. The large number of boats using the water is an important use of the lake and also an important source of water degradation from fuel spills and toilets. CCEF wants to help educate about the water for the benefit of all.
Last revised September 24, 2007
Â© -2007Joel Taylor – Please Contact Clear Creek Environmental Foundation for reprint and permissions.