The Russian River watershed extends from southern Mendocino County to central Sonoma County, and it provides drinking water and recreational opportunities as well as critical habitat to three species of endangered salmon. The North Coast Water Quality Control Board has yet to develop any effective or enforceable Clean Water Act permits to control agricultural runoff despite the fact that it is the primary source of pollutants found this watershed. Years of monitoring data demonstrate that the Water Board’s regulations have not protected receiving waters from pollutants associated with dairy and vineyard operations. Russian Riverkeeper will use the Rose Foundation funding to continue their advocacy on two fronts. The first advocacy issue involves strengthening the general Dairy Permit to require that permit related documents be subject to public review. Russian Riverkeeper will further to urge the Water Board to adopt numeric water quality standards which will allow dairy facilities to demonstrate their management controls are effective. The second issue for advocacy involves reducing agricultural pesticides from vineyards throughout the region. Russian Riverkeeper will push the Water Board to adopt a general permit for vineyard operations that requires publicly available documentation and imposes numeric discharge limits to ensure compliance. Russian Riverkeeper will partner with the Sonoma County Conservation Alliance and Californians for Pesticide Reform on this administrative advocacy. Russian Riverkeeper also hopes to work cooperatively with vineyard managers to educate them practices that can reduce pollution.
Clean Farms Clean Water Project
California Watershed Protection Fund, 2019
Water Resources/Watershed Protection
Del Norte County ; Humboldt County ; Mendocino County ; Siskiyou County ; Sonoma County ; Trinity County