The Sonoma County Water Agency (Sonoma Water) began stream maintenance activities in or near more than 50 streams throughout Sonoma County this week to restore conveyance capacity and maintain proper function of Sonoma Water flood control channels and retain or enhance appropriate habitat. A complete list of streams included in this year’s Stream Maintenance Program is available online.
“This annual program allows us to maintain the capacity of our flood control channels through vegetation management and sediment removal, while also encouraging healthy riparian habitat,” said Sonoma Water Chair David Rabbitt. “It’s one of the many ways we work protect our communities and our watersheds.”
Sonoma Water maintains approximately 75 miles of flood control channels. Each spring Sonoma Water performs an assessment using a database and geographic information system to monitor stream conditions, prioritize work and document maintenance activities.
Sonoma Water works in conjunction with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the North Coast and San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Boards to obtain water quality certifications and permits for the Program. The permits allow Sonoma Water to continue implementing its Stream Maintenance Program which ensures all maintenance activities are done in a manner that is protective and beneficial to the environment, and that maintenance activities are only conducted when necessary. In accordance with permitting requirements, Sonoma Water biologists and arborists survey the maintenance sites for nesting birds and oversee vegetation removal activities.
Sonoma Water urges members of the public to keep clear of maintenance activities and equipment as a safety precaution. Property owners living near a stream on the list will see work crews along with maintenance equipment, such as trucks used for hauling debris away from the streams.