Environmental Review Released for Dry Creek Habitat Enhancement Project


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    For Immediate Release - July 9, 2015

    CONTACT: Ann DuBay: 707.524.8378 (office), 707.322.8185 (cell), Ann.DuBay@scwa.ca.gov or Brad Sherwood: 707.547.1927 (office), 707.322.8192 (cell), sherwood@scwa.ca.gov

    Santa Rosa, CA – The Sonoma County Water Agency (Water Agency) will release a draft environmental impact report (EIR) this week that evaluates the potential environmental effects of a habitat enhancement project along five miles of Dry Creek. The purpose of the proposed Dry Creek Habitat Enhancement Project, Miles 2-6 is to improve winter and summer rearing habitat for endangered coho salmon and threatened steelhead.

    Habitat enhancements evaluated in the Draft EIR include the creation or enhancement of pools, riffles, instream habitat features, bank stabilization, backwaters, and side-channels, all with the goal of creating both winter and summer rearing habitats for young steelhead and coho salmon.

    Similar habitat enhancement features to those in the proposed project were constructed during the past several years as part of a Habitat Enhancement Demonstration Project along Dry Creek (Mile 1), which was completed in late 2014. The demonstration project was constructed in the Lambert Bridge area. Because most of the land adjoining the creek is privately owned, the project is being implemented in cooperation with willing property owners who agree to have habitat enhancement features constructed on their land. 

    The habitat enhancement project is mandated by the National Marine Fisheries Service’s Russian River Biological Opinion, which requires the Water Agency to mitigate for the releases from Warm Springs Dam, which the Water Agency uses for water supply and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers uses for flood control. The Biological Opinion found that the speed of the current in Dry Creek during the summer and winter is too high for endangered coho salmon and threatened Chinook salmon and steelhead.

    “These habitat improvements are critical to our ongoing efforts to protect the threatened and endangered species in the Russian River,” said James Gore, member of the Sonoma County Water Agency Board of Directors. “This document evaluates the potential effects of the proposed project and we encourage residents and stakeholders to get involved in the review process.”

    The public will have 45 days to comment on the Draft EIR beginning July 10, 2015, with the comment period closing on August 24, 2015 at 5 p.m. The Water Agency Board of Directors will hold a public hearing on the Draft EIR on Tuesday, Aug. 11 at 10 a.m. in the Board of Supervisors Chambers, 575 Administration Drive, Santa Rosa.

    The Draft EIR is available electronically at www.sonomacountywater.org/environmental-documents. Hard copies of the Draft EIR are available for purchase at (707) 547-1900 or at the Water Agency’s administrative office.  Hard copies are also available for review at the following locations:

    • Sonoma County Water Agency Administrative Office: 404 Aviation Blvd., Santa Rosa, CA, 95403
    • Healdsburg Regional Library: 139 Piper St., Healdsburg, CA 95448
    • Sonoma County Central Library: 211 E St., Santa Rosa, CA 95404

    For additional information about the Draft EIR, contact Dave Cuneo, at 547-1935 or email to: david.cuneo@scwa.ca.gov



    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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