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Environment and Ecology

Environment and Ecology

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Seedlings - Plant Redwood Seedlings in the New Year! Plant Redwood Seedlings in the New Year
January 4, 2017

Nature lovers looking to kick off 2017 with a good deed might consider volunteering to plant redwood seedlings for Forest Unlimited’s annual reforestation project.

This year, the group will plant seedlings Friday and Saturday, January 6th and 7th, at St. Dorothy’s Rest in Camp Meeker, a protected 580-acre retreat center originally intended for terminally ill children to spend time in a healing environment of a “magical” forest community. Most of the land that was acquired recently had been badly logged. The redwood planting will help reforest these areas.

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Duncans Cove, Sonoma County, CA Sonoma and Mendocino Coast Marine Sanctuary Permanent Protection
May 18, 2014
This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to secure permanent protection for one of the most iconic and sensitive portions of the California coast. The spectacular beauty of our coastline between Bodega Bay and Pt. Arena attracts millions of visitors and is the centerpiece of our regional economy, but it’s what you can’t see with the naked eye that makes this place so special.
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Armstrong Woods - Do Not Disturb Armstrong Woods - Do Not Disturb - Water Pipeline Project Alert
April 1, 2014

Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve is known for containing the largest contiguous stand of old growth coast redwoods in Sonoma County.  Sadly, these famous trees are endangered by the very people responsible for protecting them.  The Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) plans to install a water pipeline through the entire length of the valley floor.  Unless we respond now, we can anticipate the sights, sounds, and smells of backhoes, excavators, graders, bulldozers, compressors, and dump trucks operating within the sensitive ecosystem.  On March 18, 2014, DPR announced an Environmental Impact Report is being prepared.  To have our concerns addressed during the review, we must respond before April 16, 2014.  

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Planning Our Future - Plan Bay Area Planning Our Future - Plan Bay Area
May 2, 2013

By Dennis Rosatti

Few everyday citizens have reason to engage in regional government, even though the decisions these government bodies are making impact all of us in the Bay Area.

Our appointed local elected representatives come together to discuss problems, solutions and strategies to upcoming challenges and issues that cross local boarders. The Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG), Metropolitan Transportation District (MTC), Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD), and San Francisco Bay Restoration Authority (SFBRA) are not likely to be conversation pieces around the dinner table, and they rarely find their way into the local newspapers with issues of interest. The average person probably doesn’t even realize that many of these government entities exist, let alone know what they do or understand how to engage in a process that might benefit their neighborhood or local town.  

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Sonoma County Stream Maintenance Program Sonoma County summer Stream Maintenance begins
June 7, 2012
by Brad Sherwood - SCWA

2012 Stream Maintenance Program Balances Habitat Enhancement, Flood Control Conveyance 

The Sonoma County Water Agency (Water Agency) on June 15 will begin stream maintenance activities in or near more than 50 streams throughout Sonoma County to restore conveyance capacity and maintain proper function of Water Agency flood control channels and retain or enhance appropriate habitat.  Two localized sediment removal projects, eight reach-scale sediment removal projects, 21 Sediment Basin/Instream Basin/Reservoir Inlet clearings, and one bank stabilization and repair projects are also planned for completion. A complete list of streams included in this year’s Stream Maintenance Program (Program) is available online  

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Spawning Salmon Celebrate the Return of Salmon
February 21, 2012
by Cyndi Adcock

Please join us for the Salmon Creek Watershed Progress Report & Community Social
Sunday 2/26 3-6pm at 1935 Bohemian Hwy. in Occidental

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Homeless Camp Michela Leader - John WHO are the Homeless in Sonoma County?
January 1, 2016
Another CODE BLUE warning is posted and I can’t help but think of the people I met recently. My house is warm.  Temperatures are plummeting into the 20s at night. Ice everywhere.
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Winery Event Center Backlash Grows in Rural Communities - Sonoma - Napa - Marin Counties Winery Event Center Backlash Grows in Rural Communities
July 1, 2015
They used to call it God’s Country and then the Redwood Empire during the logging years. After a planting spree in the 1990’s, when vineyard acreage more than doubled to more than 60,000 acres, Sonoma County was rebranded appropriately as Wine Country. This boom created a frenzy of activity, the rampant overdevelopment of wineries and event centers, 90% of which are now located in our rural areas – that’s 439 facilities.
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Beach Watch volunteers documenting dead birds Who Won When We Banned Plastic Bags?
October 30, 2014
We are Beach Watch. This is a program brought forth by the Gulf of the Farralones National Marine Sanctuary. We are the monitors for our coast; we look for and record living and dead animals on our beaches. We are also the volunteer coordinators for debris cleanup for the Sonoma Coast State Park and the Stewards of the Coast and Redwoods
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People Power STOPS Forestville Timber Harvest People Power STOPS Forestville Timber Harvest
October 30, 2012

By David Herr

Most people feel helpless when it comes to impacting the outcome of an event. Yet they DO have influence, and they CAN effect change. What it takes is having enough people to be heard - and solid information to gain respect..

We changed the outcome of a tree removal in my neighborhood by contacting people who had the power to stop the operation before long-term permanent damage occurred. In the process, we learned that laws and systems in place are not enough, and that oversight is essential to protect our environment from ignorance.

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Taylor Mountain Regional Park and Open Space Taylor Mountain Regional Park and Open Space approved
October 9, 2012
The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors, acting concurrently as directors of the Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District, on Tuesday approved a comprehensive master plan for creating a regional park and open space preserve on the Taylor Mountain properties in southeast Santa Rosa. Over two years in the making, this blueprint for the Taylor Mountain Regional Park and Open Space Preserve details how to provide hiking, camping and other recreation opportunities and protect the environmental and agricultural value of the 1,100-acre site.
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Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems (OWTS) New Rules for Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems (OWTS)
August 1, 2012

Goodbye Septics, Hello OWTS?

By Dan Fein

If you own property near the river and you’re not connected to a sewer system, the rules that govern your wastewater have officially changed.

More than 11 years after it first became law, the State Water Resources Control Board adopted a policy that implements the provisions of AB885.  The state law, which was passed by the legislature in 2001, is designed to protect the state’s waters by regulating Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems (OWTS).  This policy, to a greater or lesser degree, affects everyone whose wastewater is treated by onsite septic systems.

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Sonoma County Bird watching & Hike MAP Sonoma County Bird Watching, Bike Rides and Hikes - Part 2
July 1, 2015
Wildlife abounds in Sonoma County during all seasons and include seals, sea lions and the occasional elephant seal and the twice-annual flotilla of Humpbacks. There are bobcats, skunk, otter, raccoon, fox, muskrat, deer, coyote and lions. Also voles, opossum, mice, rats and a raft of amphibians, lizards and fish. The black bear has made a tremendous comeback as well with estimates of more than 30,000 in Northern California alone.
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Sonoma County Seal Watch - 30 years protecting Harbor Seals Sonoma County Seal Watch - 30 years protecting Harbor Seals
March 5, 2015
Seal Watch began in 1985, when Dian Hardy and other local activists from Jenner discovered that the harbor seals at Goat Rock State Beach were in greater danger from beach visitors and unleashed dogs than from the pollution of a recent sewage spill into the Russian River. 
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Bill Kortum on the Kortum Trail Bill Kortum - A Force of Nature - Leaves this Earth
December 20, 2014
'Tis said of the most successful people on earth - they tried and failed - they tried and succeeded - they tried and tried and tried again to accomplsh their goals. Bill Kortum is among our earth's environemtnal heroes because his efforts succeeed so many times.
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Electric Vehicle Charging Station Sustainable Solutions Electric Vehicles 101 - Charging Stations
May 29, 2014
by Sam Euston

According to the 2011 Climate Protection Committee’s Greenhouse Gas Report, 60% of carbon emissions in Sonoma County are generated from transportation. 

Now that Sonoma Clean Power has opened its doors, and unveiled its newEvergreen program, (which utilizes 100% local renewable power), the use of electric vehicles in our Count

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California Recycling Law - Assembly Bill (AB) 341 California Recycling Law - Assembly Bill (AB) 341
August 1, 2012

By Sarah Amador-Rusnak

Effective July 1, 2012, Assembly Bill (AB) 341 requires all California businesses generating four or more cubic yards each week of commercial solid waste to recycle. That means cruise ships, municipal and military facilities, multi-family dwellings, schools, school districts, community colleges, universities, airports and strip malls.

By signing Assembly Bill (AB) 341, Governor Jerry Brown set a statewide goal of 75% disposal reduction by the year 2020. Part of the Global Warming Solutions Act AB 32, the new recycle bill has been referred to as the one of the most ambitious bills in the country. Florida is the only other state with a goal of 75% waste diversion rate by 2020.

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Don't Move a Mussel! Prevent Spread of Invasive Mussels
May 16, 2012
by Brad Sherwood - SCWA
A regional effort to prevent the spread of invasive quagga and zebra mussels into local waterways, including Lake Sonoma and Lake Mendocino, continues to grow after the Sonoma County Water Agency (Water Agency) and County of Sonoma Board of Supervisors agreed to join the North Coast Zebra and Quagga Mussel Consortium.  The Consortium’s goals are to increase public awareness and encourage regional prevention planning to prevent the spread of the zebra and quagga mussels into North Coast waterways.  To date, Consortium partners include the counties of Sonoma, Mendocino and Humboldt, the Sonoma County Water Agency, and the Mendocino County Russian River Flood Control and Water Conservation Improvement District.  Additional partners will be added as the Consortium continues to grow.
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Public Meeting on Local Fish Habitat Restoration Projects Public Meeting on Local Fish Habitat Restoration Projects
March 7, 2017
On Monday, March 13, the Public Policy Facilitating Committee (PPFC) will take a virtual tour of milestones and projects that are helping to restore endangered and threatened fish to the Russian River watershed, while maintaining the region’s primary water supply (meeting details below).
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Applications Being Accepted for TeenNat Pepperwood’s Youth Summer Conservation Science Internship Applications Being Accepted for TeenNat Pepperwood’s Youth Summer Conservation Science Internship
March 1, 2017
While some teens will be spending their days playing video games, this summer young people at Pepperwood will have fun exploring the forests and grasslands, chaparral and ponds, all while collecting critical conservation data to be used by researchers around the world.
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