CARDIFF-BY-THE-SEA — In recent weeks flyers posted around Cardiff have raised concerns that the construction of the Encinitas Community Park has negatively affected Rossini Creek.
The creek begins flowing near the park and ends near the intersection of Birmingham Drive and San Elijo Avenue, but with the exception of some pools, it has dried up in the past month.
In response to complaints from residents, the city issued a report on Monday stating that the park isn’t blocking off flow to the creek.
The report states Rossini Creek primarily relies on a watershed to the east of the Encinitas Community Park.
Runoff from the watershed travels west through a concrete pipe onto the park property, eventually feeding Rossini Creek.
Ed Deane, a senior civil engineer with the city, and who co-authored the report, said flow from the concrete pipe has slowed to a trickle.
“We’re not getting water from the outlet near the park; there’s no chance for the park to impact this,” Deane said.
He added that the drainage system of the park was designed so as not to affect the creek.
The city’s Parks and Recreation department will address the matter during a June 17 public meeting, updating residents about the park’s progress. The meeting starts at 6 p.m. at City Hall.
Resident Eleanor Musick, a former engineer, said that the state of the creek is “alarming.” To illustrate the degree, she put together a short video and posted it on YouTube. The first part shows a frog floating in the creek in late May 2012.
The next shot, taken at the same location a year later, is footage of the dry creek bed.
“Residents who have been here for 40 years haven’t seen it this bad,” she said.
Rossini Creek supports vegetation that runs alongside it as well as marine life like frogs.
“The fish and tadpoles only have puddles left,” said Musick.
So far, she said there’s no definitive proof the park construction caused the creek to run dry, but it’s “suspect number one.”
She noted the empirical evidence, like how some of the densest vegetation surrounding the creek is upstream of any runoff, contradicts the city’s report. She called upon the city to retain an environmental specialist to investigate the matter.
“A lot of Cardiff is watching this with interest,” Musick said.
An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated the Parks and Recreation meeting at City Hall is June 18. It is June 17.