We are a community of neighbors and other dedicated folks united to protect Outlet Creek and it’s fragile environment from industrial pollution. We seek to maintain and improve the creek and its watershed as a viable habitat for riparian wildlife AND to protect the health of the area’s human residents. Outlet Creek is located in Mendocino County, California and begins its twenty plus mile journey in the north end of Little Lake Valley near the town of Willits. It winds northward along the bottom of steep narrow canyons close to highway 101 and then heads eastward along two lane highway 162, where it becomes a main tributary of the federally designated Wild & Scenic Eel River.
The creek is critical habitat for four federally listed threatened or endangered species: Coho Salmon, Chinook Salmon, Steelhead Trout and Foothill Yellow-legged Frog. Outlet Creek is home to beavers, river otter, western pond turtles and so much more. It also hosts the longest spawning migration route of Coho Salmon in the state of California.
New Asphalt Plant in floodplain of Outlet Creek
In July of 2015, a new asphalt plant was installed at Grist Creek Aggregates gravel crushing facility along the banks and within the floodplain of Outlet Creek. The County exempted the project from development review and the County Air District issued a permit allowing production of up to 500,000 thousand tons of asphalt per year despite the fact that no Environmental Impact Report has ever been done for an asphalt plant at this site. Since then, Friends of Outlet Creek has filed a lawsuit against the County, another against the County Air District as well as a Federal Clean Water Act suit against Grist Creek Aggregates.
Operations at the new asphalt plant began in early September and it was worse than anyone imagined. Huge plumes of emissions filled the steep narrow canyon and hung in the air impacting neighbors living on the hillsides above the plant. Residents experienced headaches, nausea and respiratory problems in response to the pollution.