Friends of Marsh Creek Watershed Steps Up for National Competition

Group seeks statewide support to win online grant competition to secure a $25,000 grant and hopes that in the process they will spark the interest of folks to learn about and get involved in their own watersheds.

2.28.2012 press release

Oakley, CA  – On the northeast edge of the San Francisco Bay Area, in Contra Costa County, a local environmental nonprofit, Friends of Marsh Creek Watershed ( has been named as one of six national finalists for an online grant competition.

MillerCoors in partnership with River Network, this past week kicked off an online grant competition to award nearly $60,000 in grants to non-profit organizations in six communities to fund projects focused on water conservation, education and protection. The winning organization will be chosen by the public through an online voting contest. The finalist organization with the most votes will receive a $25,000 grant. The five remaining projects will also receive funds, with second place receiving a $15,000 grant, third place receiving a $10,000 grant, and the three remaining projects each receiving $2,000.

“This is a great opportunity for Friends of Marsh Creek Watershed to highlight our wonderful progam and to raise awareness about watershed issues.  We hope that people will go online and vote for us and then learn about their own watersheds and go out get involved!” said Executive Director Diane Burgis, “We are grateful to MillerCoors and River Network for this opportunity.”

Friends of Marsh Creek Watershed (FOMCW) is the only west coast finalist and encourages people to vote for them because of their commitment and extraordinary work protecting, conserving, and restoring Marsh Creek and its tributaries, and in inspiring appreciation and conservation of the Marsh Creek Watershed and San Joaquin Delta. Despite operating in a less populated area of the Bay Area, FOMCW has accomplished quite a bit since incorporating a little over two years ago. Since a small group of interested volunteers gathered in 2004 FOMCW has accomplished the following:

  • Over 40 tons of trash removed from Marsh Creek, trails and local parks.
  • Over 7000 volunteers working over 21,000 hours on restoration, water monitoring, outreach and education, advocacy and other stewardship activities.
  • Helped raise over $1.25 million in funding towards restoration projects including the Marsh Creek Fish Ladder constructed in December 2010, the upcoming Creekside Park Restoration Project in Oakley breaking ground this summer, and the 1200 Acre Dutch Slough Wetland Restoration Project slated to start work later this year.
  • Planted hundreds of plants and trees throughout the community.
  • Supported city, county, state and federal efforts to protect our precious water resources and ecosystem through water monitoring support, trash assessments, storm drain marking,
  • FOMCW has built a vast partnership base with agencies and organizations. These partnerships have helped FOMCW develop a reputation as a leader in protecting watersheds.
  • Executive Director, Diane Burgis was awarded the “Watershed Champion” award by the Contra Costa County Watershed Forum, an open committee of some fifty organizations, including state and local agencies, local non-profit environmental and education organizations, community volunteer groups, and private citizens. The “Watershed Champion” award is presented every four years honoring a person who works to build partnerships and provide leadership in protecting, restoring or enhancing creeks and watersheds. The Watershed Champion Award is given to those that have inspired others to work collaboratively toward addressing conservation issues in Contra Costa County. She was also recently named “Woman of the Year” for California’s 15th Assembly District and will be recognized in a special session in the Assembly in Sacramento on Monday, March.26th.
  • FOMCW and the Contra Costa County of Education are excited to have recently become partners in designing an Environmental Science paid internship program for this summer that will give at least one dozen youth  hands-on experience in habitat restoration, water monitoring, outreach and education and other watershed stewardship activities.  This is an exciting program that will give underserved youth an opportunity to get paid work experience that is unique and will expose youth to experiences not often given to folks just entering the workforce.

Funding from this grant will underwrite more than a dozen service projects and education events to increase understanding and raise awareness about local water quality issues, while advancing stewardship activities within the Marsh Creek Watershed. These projects will also support California’s efforts to protect the San Joaquin Delta ecosystem.

Friends of Marsh Creek Watershed hopes that in the process of promoting themselves they will spark the interest of folks to learn about and get involved in their own watershed activities.

Voting goes through March 19, 2012 at 5:00 p.m. (PST) at The winners will be announced on March 23, 2012.

Further information on Friends of Marsh Creek Watershed can be found at
Further information on MillerCoors sustainable development and water stewardship programs can be found on

Media contacts:

Diane Burgis
Friends of Marsh Creek Watershed

Allie Cowan

Matt Burke
River Network


About burkforoakley

I call it like I see it . I love my city, I love my community and I want what is best for the people around me. Do the right thing, I will support you. Do the wrong thing, I will oppose you!
This entry was posted in Around Oakley, Contra Costa County, Delta, East County. Bookmark the permalink.

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