Teaching Environmental and Agricultural Memories (TEAM)
The Gold Ridge RCD’s TEAM field trip program takes elementary students onto agricultural lands in west Sonoma County to learn about agricultural production and environmental stewardship. TEAM field trips provide a unique experiential learning opportunity for children to explore the characteristic agricultural heritage and open space in our county. Field trips are designed to meet California State Science Standards for grades three, four and five.
California Statewide Groundwater Elevation Monitoring Program (CASGEM)
In partnership with the Sonoma County Water Agency, the Gold Ridge RCD is recruiting landowners with private wells to participate in a voluntary groundwater elevation monitoring program. The project covers the Wilson Grove and Bodega Bay groundwater basins, shown on the adjacent map. The goal of the program is to assess seasonal and long-term trends in groundwater levels as part of the statewide CASGEM program.
Insectaries for Pollinators and Farm Biodiversity
This project was a pilot effort to enhance pollinator habitat on seven working farms, including a vineyard, three organic vegetable crop farms, a cattle ranch, an orchard, and one diverse farm with grapes, vegetable crops, and livestock. The project was a collaborative effort led by the Gold Ridge Resource Conservation District, including participation from Farm Stewards, Partners for Sustainable Pollination, the Xerces Society, the North Coast Resource Conservation and Development Council, and the many landowners and community members who helped to plant nearly 2 acres of pollinator habitat using over 6,100 plants.
Dutch Bill Creek Coho Habitat Enhancement
Dutch Bill Creek is a primary focus of salmonid recovery efforts in the Russian River Watershed, and is part of the Russian River Coho Salmon Captive Broodstock Program. The stretch of creek where these structures are being placed has been identified as a priority site for coho salmonid recovery.
The instream structures, composed of logs, root wads, and boulders, are designed to work in a number of ways. They affect water flow to scour the streambed, creating large, deep pools that juvenile salmon need to survive summers. They also create shelter and provide refugia during high winter flows. Structures can enhance aquatic macroinvertebrate populations, a key food source for juvenile salmon. Structures can also be designed to promote channel aggradation, allowing for the accumulation of the coarse gravel that salmon returning from the ocean need to spawn.
Dutch Bill Creek Fish Passage
The Camp Meeker Dam on Dutch Bill Creek in western Sonoma County was built in the 1950s to create a seasonal swimming hole and beach area, but now the dam is identified as one of the worst barriers to fish passage in the Russian River Watershed. Another is a culvert at Market Street in nearby Occidental.
With federal, state and local funding, the Gold Ridge RCD and the Camp Meeker Recreation and Park District will remove the dam and reconfigure the culvert to restore free passage for salmon and steelhead. In place of the dam, a prefabricated 80- foot steel pedestrian bridge will be installed, improving public access across the creek. As part of this project, stream banks will be stabilized and revegetated, and a more natural meander and grade change will be created. These improvements will help return the natural transport of gravel from upstream and provide better fish habitat.
Save our Salmon (SOS) -
The Salmon Creek Habitat Rehabilitation Program - Phase I
Coho salmon were once common in central and northern California, spawning in large numbers in most coastal streams, including Salmon Creek and its tributaries. Populations declined steeply during the 20th century, however, and the coho disappeared completely from their namesake watershed in the late 1990s. With the decline of the coho came the crash of the local fishing industry, which was an important part of the west Sonoma County economy.
The coho and other salmonids have been the focus of watershed restoration efforts designed to improve habitat conditions for the fish and assist in their long-term survival in coastal California. In Salmon Creek, the Gold Ridge Resource Conservation District has been an important part of these efforts, conducting assessments of watershed and habitat conditions, working with local landowners on stream protection and restoration projects, and helping to inform the public about the ecological and economic importance of coho. Efforts to restore the fish in Salmon Creek were given a huge boost last December, when the California Department of Fish and Game planted over 300 adult coho in the stream.
Estero Americano Dairy Enhancement Program -
Phases I & II
The main goal of the first phase of this project was to assist dairy operators in the Estero Americano watershed reach full compliance with current and future water quality standards, and to significantly reduce nutrient pollution entering the estuary and its tributaries.
The second phase focused on improved manure management practices, and the adoption of pasture management practices that promote soil fertility, forage productivity and water quality protection.
Gold Ridge Resource Conservation District
2776 Sullivan Rd., Sebastopol, CA 95472
phone: (707) 823-5244 | fax: (707) 823-5243
many thanks to the Sonoma County Water Agency for funding the development of this website