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Clean Streams in Southern Sonoma County

Published: July 30, 2019

Storm water runoff is water from rain that does not soak into the ground, but instead flows from rooftops, over paved areas, sloped lawns and bare soil. As it flows, it collects soil, animal waste, litter, pesticides, oil & grease, and other potential pollutants. Permit Sonoma enforces the Regional Water Boards’ storm water requirements to keep pollutants out of our waterways. Our storm water program also raises awareness of storm water quality through monitoring and public education. One example of this work is the “Clean Streams in Southern Sonoma County” collaborative project.

Permit Sonoma is part of a public/private partnership to reduce pollution in the Sonoma Creek and Petaluma River watersheds. This project, which is funded by the EPA, consists of the following tasks:

  • Creation of an inventory of County and City road/stream crossings to enhance prioritization of road projects with high erosion potential
  • Substantial erosion and habitat improvements on public roads and private streambanks
  • Sonoma Creek watershed monitoring for pesticides and pathogens.
  • Pollution prevention public outreach

Examples of the projects’ sediment reduction actions include repair of fire damaged culverts, replacing non-native vegetation along streambanks with deep-rooted riparian species, installing erosion control fabric and staked wattles, setting up irrigation systems, and monitoring sites. The project’s outreach efforts have included community meetings, classroom education for elementary and middle school students, river cleanup events, and low-impact design tours. The project has also targeted outreach to encourage dog owners to clean up pet waste.

Project partners are the following: