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Sonoma County Gazette
stormwater runoff

Public input sought on stormwater plan to manage flood control, clean water and erosion control

Nov 6, 2017


Community meetings are planned this month to receive input on a stormwater resources plan for the Petaluma River and Sonoma Creek watersheds that will identify projects that utilize stormwater from heavy rainfall for beneficial uses, such as flood protection, recharge of groundwater, slowing erosion from hillsides, and improving water quality in creeks and streams.

The Southern Sonoma County Storm Water Resources Plan (SWRP), which is funded through a grant received by the Sonoma County Water Agency (Water Agency), is being developed collaboratively under the guidance of a Technical Advisory Group made up of 13 agencies and non-profit organizations in both watersheds. Project ideas can be submitted by the public or organizations on-line and will be reviewed by a Technical Advisory Committee and prioritized within the SWRP. Projects described in the plan could then be qualified to apply for state funding to implement the projects.

The Community Meeting schedule is as follows:

PETALUMATuesday, November 14 at 5:30-7:00 PM
David Yearsley River Heritage Center, 100 East D Street, Petaluma, CA 94952

SONOMAWednesday, November 15 at 5:30-7:00 PM
Sonoma Community Center, 276 East Napa Street, Sonoma, CA 95476

Storm water is water generated by rainstorms that runs off surfaces such as rooftops, streets and parking lots into creeks and streams. Storm water projects captures this water by slowing it, storing it or allow it to recharge groundwater. To be eligible in the plan, projects must provide multiple benefits, which could include flood control, groundwater recharge, water reuse, and improved water quality in waterways. 

“This is a very exciting opportunity for our communities and our watersheds,” said Water Agency Director Susan Gorin, who represents the Sonoma Valley as the First District Supervisor.  “We understand that our communities are still recovering from the devastating fires, and that is consuming a tremendous amount of time and energy. We also know that finding new ways of using runoff to protect and benefit our watersheds is important, and we’re making every effort to keep the planning process on track.”

“The Petaluma River watershed is very susceptible to the impacts of stormwater runoff,” said Water Agency Director David Rabbitt, who represents the Petaluma area as the Second District Supervisor. “I know there is a lot of interest in our community in coming up with projects that help with flooding, groundwater recharge, and water quality. We all have a lot on our plates right now coping with the natural disaster of the fires, but I hope this stormwater resources plan receives the attention it deserves.”

During the community meetings, there will be a presentation about the SWRP and how groups and individuals can participate, a discussion about examples of stormwater projects, and directions given about how to develop and submit projects. There will also be a question and answer session. Time will be set aside to for local agencies to provide an update on the responses to the fire disaster as it relates to watershed management, erosion control, handling of hazardous materials and potential flood impacts.

To learn more about the Southern Sonoma Storm Water Resources Plan, please visit:


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