Community Meeting Scheduled to Review Russian River Estuary Project and Summer River Flows


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    May 28, 2015 - For Immediate Release
    CONTACT: Ann DuBay 707.524.8378 (office) 707.322.8185 (cell),, or Brad Sherwood 707.547.1927 (office) 707.322.8192 (cell)
    (Monte Rio, Calif.) – The Sonoma County Water Agency (Water Agency) will hold a community meeting on Thursday, June 11, 2015 to provide updates on the Russian River Estuary Management Project and provide an update on this year’s summer river flows. The meeting will be held at the Monte Rio Community Center, 20488 Highway 116, Monte Rio, from 6-8 p.m.
    The meeting will consist of two separate presentations. From 6-7 p.m. there will be a presentation on the Russian River Estuary Management Plan, which will include this summer’s plans for the upcoming Estuary lagoon management season, water quality monitoring results, and preliminary results of the study of the historic Goat Rock State Beach jetty.
    The second part of the meeting, from 7-8 p.m., will address summer flows in the Russian River. Due to the drought, this year’s summer flows in the river will be subject to reduced reservoir releases. A presentation on Russian River summer flows will include information about anticipated reservoir releases and the Water Agency’s conservation programs.
    In addition to the June 11 Monte Rio meeting, a separate meeting will also be held in Healdsburg to discuss summer river flows. Additional information will be provided when the meeting details are finalized. Water Agency staff will provide an overview of the drought and how flows in the Russian River will be subject to reduced reservoir releases this summer.
    The Biological Opinion issued by the National Marine Fisheries Service in September 2008 required the Water Agency to change the way the estuary is managed in the summer. The purpose of the lagoon outlet adaptive management plan is to enhance summer habitat for young steelhead while minimizing flood risk in the estuary. The June 11 meeting is the seventh community meeting discussing the estuary since the Biological Opinion was issued.
    “It’s important that River area residents receive regular updates on the Biological Opinion and fisheries projects along the Russian River. This meeting will be a great opportunity to receive current information and to ask questions,” said Water Agency Director Efren Carrillo. “Residents in the lower river communities have been very involved in the estuary management project, which is a key to the success of implementing the Biological Opinion. There will also be information provided on the drought and impact on flows in the Russian River this summer.”
    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 called 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 or contact Barry Dugan, at 547-1930 or
    The Sonoma County Water Agency is working to secure our future by investing in our water resources, environment, and community. The Water Agency provides water supply, flood protection and sanitation services for portions of Sonoma and Marin counties. Visit us on the Web at



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