Home is the Lower River
After traveling south for over 80 miles, the Russian River makes a sharp right turn at Forestville and heads west for about 25 miles where it flows into the ocean at the town of Jenner. Mark West Creek and Laguna de Santa Rosa are major watersheds that converge with the Russian River at the river bend.
The ambiance of the lower Russian River has changed relatively little in the last forty years. Visitors come here from all over the world to experience our paradise. The waterway is thickly lined with giant redwoods for most of its westerly course, and summer cabins are hidden on hillsides, riverbanks, and in deep interior canyons. About two thirds of the former cabins have been converted to full time use over the last 25 years.
The Russian River used to be one of the three greatest Steelhead fisheries on the North Coast. Fishermen flocked here from far and wide every winter to fish. It is only in the last fifty years, that their numbers have been decimated, and the Endangered Species Act has stepped in to play a major role in river management. It is one of RRWPC's major concerns however, that proposed projects to save the fish may be too little, too late, and may cause more harm to the watershed than bring protections for the fish.
The river also serves as a water supply source for about 600,000 urban dwellers in Sonoma County and Marin, as well as providing a source of water for extensive grape growing activities throughout the region. This has led to more focus on improved conservation, wastewater reuse, and better management of groundwater resources, to name a few. Yet, there is still much to be done.
And there is a dark side to all this. This area of extraordinary natural beauty and extensive natural resources is also extremely fragile. It is subject to large floods, massive slides, falling trees, high water tables, water quality problems, etc. It is concern for this fragility that has motivated RRWPC to devote our life's work over the last 37 years to preservation of the lower Russian River watershed. This website is testimony to that concern and represents our recent work to preserve it from the influences that would turn it into something less than what it is.
RRWPC Newsletter, April 2020: What's Next
What’s in the cards for 2020? It feels like almost an ice age ago since RRWPC last communicated via email. We are currently a month late in getting RRWPC’s second mailer out for the year and it’s looking like it will be another month or two before we can catch up. But we know you understand since it is likely that, like us, you have been consumed by the Coronavirus situation with its many impacts to family, fiscal affairs, work responsibilities, housing matters, health concerns and health insurance, shelter in place, mask creation and designs (N-95 or bandanas?), constant hand washing, six foot separations, diving stock market crashes, meteoric advances and new crashes again, impeachments, elections, and more. Read More >>
RRWPC Newsletter, May 2020: Fee Increases, Discharge Permits and COVIDPrior to three months ago, the term COVID-19 was not in our vocabulary! The first heading of RRWPC’s January newsletter rhetorically asked, “What’s in the cards for 2020?” The letter then went on to mention that recent worldwide earthquakes and fires, including our own record setting firestorms of recent years, major local floods, and more, has shaken our collective beings. It seemed appropriate at the time to follow with the query: What’s next? What we were really thinking however, was that we had had enough of disasters and were done for a while. The words “novel coronavirus” and, COVID-19, did not yet exist in our vocabulary. Read More >>
RRWPC Newsletter, September 2019: TMDL, Septic, and Sewage SpillRegional Board meeting on Pathogen TMDL…. Although not heavily attended, those who came out for the Regional Board Meeting on August 14th to take part in the hearing on the Pathogen TMDL, were very informed citizens on this topic, as many had been tracking the issue for years. (You can see entire meeting by going to: http://cal-span.org/static/meetings-RWQCB-NC.php Click on camera icon in box labeled August 14, 2019. A black box will come up mid-screen. Scroll down and click on message “download video”. This will take about a minute. The entire hearing took about three hours. There’s a horizontal bar beneath the video that you can move and skip around the various presentations.”)
Essence of RRWPC’s Presentation…Read More >>