2013 Stream Maintenance Program Balances Habitat Enhancement, Flood Control Conveyance

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    2013-06-17

    June 17, 2013 For Immediate Release

    CONTACT: Brad Sherwood, 707.547.1927 (Office), 707.322.8192 (Cell), sherwood@scwa.ca.gov

    (Santa Rosa, CA)  The Sonoma County Water Agency (Water Agency) on June 15 began stream maintenance activities in or near more than 50 streams throughout Sonoma County to restore conveyance capacity and maintain proper function of Water Agency flood control channels and retain or enhance appropriate habitat.  A complete list of streams included in this year’s Stream Maintenance Program is available online

    “Our beautiful streams play a multi-functional role that includes habitat for wildlife, recreation for our residents, and flood control for our communities during the wet winter months,” said Water Agency Director Shirlee Zane. “Now that summer has arrived, our work crews will be busy removing invasive vegetation that clog our streams and prevent optimum flood control from taking place.”

    The Water Agency maintains approximately 75 miles of flood control channels. Each spring the Water Agency performs an assessment using a database and geographic information system to monitor stream conditions, prioritize work and document maintenance activities. 

    The Water Agency has worked in conjunction with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the North Coast and San Francisco Regional Water Quality Control Boards to obtain water quality certifications and permits for the Program.  The permits allow the Water Agency to continue implementing its Program which ensures all maintenance activities are done in a manner that is protective and beneficial to the environment, and that maintenance activities are only conducted when necessary.  In accordance with permitting requirements, Water Agency biologists and arborists survey the maintenance sites for nesting birds and oversee vegetation removal activities.   

    Portions of the maintenance activities will be conducted by young adults employed through this summer’s Sonoma County Youth Ecology Corps (SCYEC).  The youth will help remove invasive plants and clear trails.  The SCYEC was created in 2009 by a partnership including the Sonoma County Workforce Investment Board, the Sonoma County Human Services Department, the Water Agency, the Sonoma County Office of Education and the nonprofit New Ways to Work.  To date, about 900 young people have been employed through this program. The 2013 program will employ an additional 200 young people.

    The $2 million 2013 program will be funded by the Workforce Investment Act, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, the Water Agency, the Open Space District, Kaiser Permanente, Jackson Family Wines, the John Jordan Foundation, the Laguna de Santa Rosa Foundation, The Monte Rio Recreation & Parks District,  Rotary Club of the Russian River (Guerneville), Rotary Club of Sebastopol (Sunrise), the City of Santa Rosa, Sonoma County Regional Parks, the Sonoma County Vintners Foundation, Sustainable Enterprise Conference, Traditional Medicinals and Willow Creek Financial Services.  Learn more about the SCYEC.

    The Water Agency urges members of the public to keep clear of maintenance activities and equipment as a safety precaution.  Property owners living near a stream on the list will see work crews along with maintenance equipment, such as trucks used for hauling debris away from the streams.

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    The Sonoma County Water Agency is working to secure our future by investing in our water resources, community and environment.  The Water Agency provides water supply, flood protection and sanitation services for portions of Sonoma and Marin counties. Visit us on the Web at www.sonomacountywater.org.

     

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