VIDEO: Alameda County using goats to clean out creeks and prevent flooding

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ALAMEDA COUNTY (KRON) — Alameda County is cleaning out creeks to prevent flooding, but it’s how they’re doing it that is attracting attention.

It’s something you’d expect to see in a rural community.

But not in a busy Bay Area city.

If you listen closely, amidst the sound of rush hour traffic, you can hear them.

About 700 goats are eating their way through Alameda Creek.

“I like their sound, so, so cute,” Fremont resident Rafi Gonzalez-Reyes said.

The animals have become quite an attraction, especially for Gonzalez-Reyes, who’s brushing up on her goat sounds.

“When I saw it on the freeway, I thought that  it was very interesting, and I wanted to see what they do up here and how they move around and what they’re doing,” Gonzalez-Reyes said.

What they’re doing is clearing brush to prevent flooding in the winter and fires in the summer.

The goats are being used throughout Union City, Fremont, and Hayward.

“It’s less expensive than manual labor, and it’s more environmentally friendly than spraying herbicides, so it’s better for the environment and it does have less environmental impact,” Environmental Compliance Specialist Justin Laurence said.

This is the second time Alameda Flood Control and Water Conservation District used the goats.

“So last year, we did 50 acres or so, and this year, we did 100 acres, and next year, we’ll expand that some more,” Laurence said.

The goats will be out here another two to three weeks. Then, they’ll be back in the spring.

And you can bet Rafi will be waiting.

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