Monte Rio, CA – May 17, 2018 – 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
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.
For more information about the Russian River Estuary
Management Project visit www.sonomacountywater.org/russian-river-estuary/ or contact Barry Dugan, at (707) 547-1930 or firstname.lastname@example.org.