FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - August 15, 2019
CONTACT - Barry Dugan, Principal Programs Specialist, 707-547-1930, 707-331-2040, email@example.com
(Jenner, Calif.) – The Sonoma County Water Agency (Sonoma Water) will hold its annual meeting on Wednesday, August 28, 2019 to update the community on the Russian River Estuary Management Project. The meeting will be held from 6-7:30 p.m. at the Jenner Community Center, 10398 Highway 1, Jenner.
The meeting will consist of a presentation on the Russian River Estuary Management Project, which will include information about the 2018 Lagoon Management Season, updates on biological and water quality monitoring programs, and a description of the 2019 Lagoon Management Season. There will be a question and answer session following the presentations.
The Biological Opinion issued by the National Marine Fisheries Service in September 2008 required Sonoma Water to change the way the Russian River estuary is managed in the summer following river mouth closures. The purpose of the Estuary Management Project is to enhance summer habitat for young steelhead, listed under the Endangered Species Act, while minimizing flood risk in the estuary. The August 28 meeting is the 11th community meeting discussing the estuary since the Biological Opinion was issued.
“Estuary management is a key part of the Russian River Biological Opinion and this project is of great interest to the communities along the lower river,” said Sonoma Water Director Lynda Hopkins. “The Estuary Management Project is aimed at improving steelhead and coho salmon habitat while also minimizing flood risks. We look forward to hearing from residents and providing an opportunity for them to receive current information and ask questions.”
Since the mid-1990s, Sonoma Water has artificially breached the sandbar when it closes and increasing water levels in the estuary threaten low-lying properties. The Biological Opinion calls for managing the estuary as a summer lagoon with an outlet channel in place to enhance conditions needed for young steelhead to grow and thrive, giving them a better chance to survive ocean conditions, while continuing to minimize flood risk to low-lying properties.
Sonoma Water provides water supply, flood protection and sanitation services for portions of Sonoma and Marin counties. Visit us on the Web at www.sonomawater.org.