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Sonoma Public Infrastructure (formerly TPW)

For Immediate Release

Sonoma County partners with University of California in support of public research, education in Bodega Bay and Sonoma Valley

SANTA ROSA, CA | March 13, 2023

The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors has authorized two separate license agreements between the County of Sonoma and The Regents of the University of California in support of public research and educational activities on county-owned tidelands property at Bodega Bay and the Los Guilicos campus in Sonoma Valley. 

The board approved a 25-year license agreement that allows UC to conduct research, scientific studies and educational activities on 56 acres of unused county-owned tidelands property near Gaffney Point at the entrance of Bodega Bay. Separately, the board approved a five-year license agreement with the UC Master Gardener program for use of the vacant garden area and greenhouse building at the county’s Los Guilicos campus for garden propagation activities, educational workshops and plant sales to the public.    

“These parcels are not currently being used or planned for any county use, so it’s exciting and inspiring that we can put them to good use for public benefit,” said Chris Coursey, chair of the Board of Supervisors. “I applaud the ingenuity and creativity of our public infrastructure team in developing these agreements.”

UC has been conducting research and educational activities at the county’s tidelands property since 1965, pursuant to the original 50-year use agreement. UC use of the land is non-invasive and includes activities such as marking plots for continued observation and monitoring; small-scale, temporary deployment of settling plates, cages, and small traps to monitor invertebrate and algal populations; deployment of sensors; and sampling and monitoring of aquatic species in the mudflat sediments. All data collected from research, scientific studies, and educational activities at the tidelands is available to the county upon request. 

“For decades, the county has provided an important opportunity through its partnership with UC to conduct critical environmental monitoring and observation in the tidelands at Bodega Bay,” said Lynda Hopkins, District 5 Supervisor. “I’m pleased that our board voted unanimously to continue support for this enduring and valuable relationship.”

In September 2022, the Sonoma County Department of Public Infrastructure began working with the UC Master Gardener to identify a new location for the program following the loss of its hoop house location at the North County Detention Facility. The greenhouse and garden area at the county’s Los Guilicos campus, which totals 36,000 square feet and includes a greenhouse building, was identified as a replacement site. Under the agreement, the UC Master Gardener program will renovate and maintain the garden and greenhouse.

“The UC Master Gardener program is a wonderful community asset and important public service for information about home horticulture and pest management,” said Susan Gorin, District 1 Supervisor. “We’re delighted to have found the program a new home on the Los Guilicos campus to continue their research and education on sustainable land practices in Sonoma County.”  

Because of the public benefit provided by UC’s activities at both locations, no rent will be charged to UC. 

For more information about the county’s license agreements with UC, please contact the Department of Public Infrastructure at (707) 565-2550 or email

Media Contact: 
Dan Virkstis, Communications Specialist
(707) 565-3040