Heal the Bay is encouraging governments in the Malibu Creek Watershed, including Calabasas and Agoura Hills, to adopt ordinances to protect the health of the ecosystem in a new report released this week.
The report, called "Malibu Creek Watershed: Ecosystem on the Brink," will be the focus of a free workshop set for 6:30 p.m. March 19 at the Diamond X Ranch in Calabasas, which is off Mulholland Highway and Wickland Road.
The report discusses the habitat, water quality and flora and fauna of the Malibu Creek Watershed, according to Heal the Bay.
More than 75 percent of the Malibu Creek Watershed is undeveloped, but a 12-year study found evidence of "environmental degradation throughout the watershed."
Heal the Bay began studies in 1998 to assess the health of the watershed.
The study also found that several invasive species are thriving, including New Zealand mudsnails, red swamp crayfish, bullfrogs, giant reed, periwinkle and fennel.
Agricultural and equestrian uses in the Malibu Creek Watershed have also been on the rise, the report states.
In the Calabasas and Agoura Hills portion of the watershed, large portions of creeks are channelized or directed underground to stormdrains, preventing water from infiltrating into the ground.
The study showed that environmental degradation in these areas was increased due to the impervious surfaces.
"Local governments within the Malibu Creek Watershed should adopt stream health protection ordinances to guard streams and riparian buffers from degradation due to development and human encroachment, with a purpose of creating buffer zones or setbacks for all development next to soft-bottom streams and to restrict streambank modifications," the report recommends.
The report also encourages Los Angeles County to adopt a Local Coastal Program that protects streams and sensitive habitats in the Santa Monica Mountains.