Sonoma Creek Watershed

Sonoma Creek Watershed

The Sonoma Creek watershed consists of 170 square miles which drains into the San Pablo Bay. The watershed has a Mediterranean climate resulting in cool to warm, dry summers and cool moist winters. The mean annual precipitation is 30 inches while the average length of the growing season is 214 days (Sonoma Valley SCD, 1965). Sonoma Creek flows 31 miles from its headwaters in Sugarloaf Ridge State Park to the mouth in the agricultural bay land areas north of San Pablo Bay. The watershed has diverse range of habitats from redwood/fir forests in the headwaters to chaparral, oak woodland and bay areas.

Sonoma Creek and its tributaries are an important part of the north bay. The watershed is home to an array of land uses such as vineyards, livestock facilities, croplands, state parks, and urban uses that all provide a direct impact to the San Pablo Bay and Sonoma Creek watershed itself. State land holdings include three state parks and the Sonoma Development Center.

Sonoma Creek Watershed

Watershed Goals and Objectives

The following goals are taken from the Sonoma Creek Watershed Enhancement Plan (June 1997):

  • Maintain long term, local control of watershed planning and enhancement;
  • Conserve and improve the natural resources of the watershed, including native wildlife species and plant communities, productive soils, and healthy stream habitat. Encourage responsible land management practices that support a healthy watershed;
  • Manage streams to maximize wildlife habitat while maintaining effective flood control; and
  • Educate the community about the natural features of the watershed, its people, and economy.
Sonoma Creek Watershed

Current Projects and Funding

  • The RCD was awarded a Watershed Coordinator Grant from the Department of Conservation in May 2011. This three year grant will support the RCD's ongoing work in the watershed but specifically targets improving both quality and accessibility of steelhead habitat, improving water quality via the reduction of non-point source pollution, identifying sediment reduction projects, optimizing water usage and conservation, and updating our Sonoma Creek Watershed Enhancement Plan.
  • The RCD was awarded a 319h grant in May 2012 for conservation planning on vineyards to support compliance with the upcoming vineyard waiver.
  • The RCD continues to participate in lower Sonoma Creek flood control studies and planning efforts.

Sonoma Creek Watershed

 

Sonoma Creek Watershed

 

Sonoma Creek Watershed


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