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HMT Participates in NOAA Habitat Blueprint Partner Meetings

July 12, 2013

HMT joined NOAA colleagues from NMFS, NOS, NWS, and PPI in Santa Rosa, CA on June 26-28 to discuss projects that are part of the Russian River Habitat Focus Area (HFA). The Russian River HFA is the first demonstration of NOAA's Habitat Blueprint, a framework to improve habitat for fisheries, marine life, and coastal communities. HMT's research in the Russian has spanned over a decade and the continued presence in this region was influential in the selection of the HFA. The goals of the Russian River HFA include:

  • Rebuilding endangered coho and threatened Chinook and steelhead stocks to sustainable levels;
  • Improving rainfall, flooding and frost forecasts in the Russian River watershed; and
  • Increasing community resiliency to flood damage and improved planning and water management strategies.

A total of five projects have been identified as part of the Russian River HFA, including:

  • Improve precipitation and river flow forecasts;
  • Russian River tributary hydrologic study;
  • Improving frost prediction and protection methods and prediction;
  • Flood plain restoration through reclamation of abandoned gravel mines; and
  • Managing and restoring the Russian River Estuary

The first three projects are led by HMT.

The goal of the Santa Rosa meetings was to introduce these five projects to the local community and HFA partners and solicit feedback on gaps, opportunities for collaboration, etc. The first day consisted of a half-day meeting at the Sonoma County Farm Bureau with local agriculture interests in Sonoma and Mendocino Counties. The afternoon provided an opportunity to tour some of the Russian River tributaries in the Maacama Creek sub basin. The second day included an all day meeting at the Sonoma County Water Agency to present the five projects to HFA Partners. Participants included federal, state, and local agencies, a number of NGOs conducting research in the Russian River basin, as well as legislative representatives. The last day included a tour of the Russian River estuary and some fisheries research efforts in this area.

Contact:  Rob Cifelli

Russian River Estuary site visit in June 2013
Russian River Estuary site visit in June 2013
Russian River Estuary site visit in June 2013

Russian River HFA Fact Sheet