Meet SCC’s New Watershed Coordinator!
December 27, 2021 | By Shoal Creek Conservancy
We’re thrilled to announce that SCC has hired Sierra DaSilva as our full-time Watershed Coordinator — a new position at SCC! Sierra will be coordinating efforts to expand rain gardens and habitat restoration sites throughout the watershed, promoting creek-friendly landscaping practices, and more.
Sierra’s work is all part of the Shoal Creek Watershed Action Plan, the beginning of a decades-long effort to restore fishable, swimmable waters to Shoal Creek. The Watershed Plan is a set of science-based actionable steps to dramatically improve the health of Shoal Creek. Much of its focus is on improving the landscape to treat water quality through green stormwater infrastructure like rain gardens and restored native vegetation along the creek.
Sierra grew up in the east Texas piney woods. She has a background in field botany and vegetation management and a decade of experience with Central Texas ecology. Sierra worked as a horticulturist at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center before returning to school to complete her MS in Biology at Texas State University. Sierra has also previously worked in education, sustainable agriculture, and in the nursery trade, and completed an internship with SCC in 2020-21. Sierra spends her free time working in her backyard garden and exploring Austin’s trails and green spaces with her husband, son, and dog.
Sierra’s position is supported in part through a grant from the U.S. EPA and Texas Commission on Environmental Quality’s Clean Water Act Nonpoint Source Pollution Program. In fact, EPA/TCEQ is supporting the next three years of Watershed Action Plan implementation with more than $430,000 in federal funding.
However, this grant is only part of what is required to bring to life the dramatic watershed changes. SCC is required to match the federal funding at 40%, and your contribution will help us get there!
One of Sierra’s first tasks is to lead Junior League of Austin volunteers in restoring native vegetation on both the east and west banks of Shoal Creek in Seiders Springs Park. But that’s just the start of many exciting changes to come!