Grants Database

Californians for Alternatives to Toxics
Amount Awarded:
Project Title:
Pesticides in the Russian River Watershed
California Watershed Protection Fund, 2021
Water Resources / Watershed Protection ; Environmental Health & Justice ; Environmental Education
North Coast
Lake County ; Mendocino County ; Sonoma County
Project Description:

We will revisit and expand on a section of our 1997 report “Time for a Change: Pesticides and Wine Grapes in Sonoma and Napa Counties,” focused on premium wine grapes that also included a map and chart describing pesticides used within a half mile of the Russian River, which we found to be intensive. Since then, wine grape and other agricultural acreage has increased in the watershed. It’s time to take a hard look at what is known of the potential for pollution and impacts of pesticide use to further community awareness and efforts to restore and reinvigorate the Russian River. We will focus on all reported agricultural applications in the watershed and cover creeks and streams. We will build on our long history of revealing industrial pesticide use at the field level and naming places and owners specifically. With our broad experience and extensive use of California’s Pesticide Use Reporting data, we will shine light on the Russian River watershed, using scientific literature and agency information to reveal the potential for harm from these toxic chemicals in order to spur further study. We will also seek anecdotal information on unreported pesticide use from good sources to fill out the picture. A key component will be to move the information into the general and agricultural communities to become owned by people in the industry and those in the local community who desire to realize a clean and healthy Russian River. Our goal is to develop and integrate specific information to stir the interested public to demand–and pesticide-using agriculturalists to embrace–changes that haven’t been adequately considered or used previously, thus moving to better stewardship of, and a much healthier water quality for the Russian River.