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County Administrator's Office

For Immediate Release

County officials urge caution if planning to visit the river or coast on Mother’s Day weekend

SANTA ROSA, CA | May 11, 2023

Officials from the County of Sonoma’s Regional Parks Department reminded those heading outdoors this warm Mother’s Day weekend to practice caution when enjoying the Russian River and the Sonoma Coast.

Temperatures in Santa Rosa are expected to reach the high 80s with swells increasing through the weekend along the Sonoma Coast. Flows in the Russian River remain much faster than during summer conditions. The river’s flow rate at the Hacienda Bridge in Guerneville is 450% higher than a year ago at 804 cubic feet per second, versus 146 cubic feet per second on May 11, 2022. 

Additionally, water temperatures in the Russian River are around 60 degrees in most locations. Caution is advised, and the cold water conditions can be dangerous especially when combined with the higher than average flows. The National Center for Cold Water Safety cautions that cold water shock can kill in water temperature between 50-60 degrees and water temperature below 70 degrees can adversely affect respiration.

“We want everyone to have fun and stay safe if visiting the river or coast beaches this holiday weekend,” said Sonoma County Regional Parks Director Bert Whitaker. “When in and around water, it’s crucial to take the necessary precautions, such as keeping a close eye on children, wearing a life jacket while swimming, boating or floating, and never turn your back on the ocean. Have fun, be safe and recreate responsibly.” 

Please remember: 

  • Regional Park river and coast beaches are not lifeguarded at this time
  • Keep children within arm's reach at all times
  • Wear a lifejacket
  • Never turn your back on the ocean
  • Call 9-1-1 in case of an emergency
  • Beach parking lots can fill early on weekends, so have a backup destination in mind.

Media Contact: 
Stuart Tiffen
Communications Specialist
(707) 565-1860
575 Administration Drive, Suite 104A
Santa Rosa, CA 95403