Russian River Estuary Management Project Community Meeting
For Immediate Release - May 17, 2018
(Monte Rio, Calif.) – The Sonoma County Water Agency (Water Agency) will hold its annual meeting on Thursday, May 31, 2018 to update the community on the Russian River Estuary Management Project. The meeting will be held at the Jenner Community Center, 10398 Highway 1, Jenner, from 6-7:30 p.m.
The meeting will consist of a presentation on the Russian River Estuary Management Project, which will include information about the 2017 Lagoon Management Season, updates on biological and water quality monitoring programs, the pinniped monitoring program, and a preview of the 2018 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 the Water Agency to change the way the Russian River estuary is managed in the summer. The purpose of the Estuary Management Project is to enhance summer habitat for young steelhead while minimizing flood risk in the estuary. The May 31 meeting is the 10th community meeting discussing the estuary since the Biological Opinion was issued.
“Communities along the lower river have long been interested in the estuary management project,” said Water Agency Director Lynda Hopkins. “Each May to October, the Water Agency manages the estuary to improve steelhead and coho salmon habitat and minimize flood risk for riverside communities. Estuary management is a key part of the Russian River Biological Opinion. Our annual community meeting is a great opportunity to receive current information and ask questions.”
Since the mid-1990s, the Water Agency 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 for steelhead to grow and thrive, giving them a better chance to survive ocean conditions, while continuing to minimize flood risk.
The Sonoma County Water Agency is working to secure our future by investing in our water resources, environment, and community. 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