Estuary Management Project - EIR

Russian River EstuaryA plan to change the way the Sonoma County Water Agency (Water Agency) manages the Russian River estuary from May 15 through October 15 is the subject of the Russian River Estuary Management Project Final Environmental Impact Report.

The proposed changes in estuary management are required by National Marine Fisheries Service Russian River Biological Opinion. The purpose of the project -- which includes a new way of opening the sandbar that sometimes closes the mouth of the Russian River, where it flows into the Pacific Ocean near Jenner – is to create a more productive environment for young steelhead.

Since the mid-1990s, the Water Agency has artificially breached the sandbar when it closes and water levels in the estuary threaten low-lying properties. When the sandbar is breached, salt water from the ocean mingles with river water, creating saline conditions. In the Biological Opinion, National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) biologists found that the fresh water lagoon that is created when the sandbar closes naturally would help threatened steelhead during summer months. In order to reduce the risk of flooding while maintaining this fresh water lagoon, the Water Agency worked with consultants to create a plan for sculpting the sandbar that will allow river water to flow over the top but keep ocean water from entering.

 

Final EIR

The Final EIR was released on July 28, 2011. The Final EIR includes revisions, updates, and clarifications made in response to public comment on the Draft EIR (see Draft EIR below).

Hearing Date: 

The Water Agency Board of Directors will consider certifying the final EIR and approving the changes in estuary management practices at its regularly scheduled meeting at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, August 16 at the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors Chambers, 575 Administration Drive, Room 102 A, Santa Rosa.

Final EIR Documents

Hard Copies of the Final EIR Document

Hard copies of the EIR are available for review at the following locations:

  • Sonoma County Water Agency Administrative Office - 404 Aviation Blvd, Santa Rosa
  • Guerneville Regional Library - 14107 Armstrong Woods Road, Guerneville
  • Occidental Library - 73 Main Street, Occidental
  • Sonoma County Central Library - 3rd and E Street, Santa Rosa

CDs of the Final EIR are available for purchase at the Water Agency's Administrative office (404 Aviation Blvd, Santa Rosa) for $5.

More Information on the Final EIR

Questions regarding the Final EIR should be directed to Jessica Martini-Lamb at (707) 547-1903.  For additional information, please contact Ann DuBay, (707) 524-8378 or ann.dubay@scwa.ca.gov.

 

 

Draft EIR

The Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) analyzes the potential environmental impacts of the estuary outlet management plan.

Draft EIR Documents

 

Draft EIR Public Hearing - January 18, 2011

A public hearing was held on Tuesday, January 18 at the Jenner Community Hall.

Water Agency directors Efren Carrillo, Mike McGuire and David Rabbitt presided over the hearing, which was attended by about 70 people. Staff and consultants Environmental Science Associates provided an overview of the project and reviewed possible impacts on wildlife, plants, water quality, recreation and other resources.

 

 

 


Draft EIR - Comments

People had an opportunity to provide oral or written comments at the January 18 meeting, in addition to by mail or by email.  Public comments closed on February 14, 2011.

 

Hard Copies of the Draft EIR Document

Hard copies of the EIR are available for review at the following locations:

  • Sonoma County Water Agency Administrative Office - 404 Aviation Blvd, Santa Rosa
  • Guerneville Regional Library - 14107 Armstrong Woods Road, Guerneville
  • Occidental Library - 73 Main Street, Occidental
  • Sonoma County Central Library - 3rd and E Street, Santa Rosa

Printed hard copies are also available for purchase at the Water Agency's Administrative office (404 Aviation Blvd, Santa Rosa) for $70.  CDs are also available for $10.