More Funding for Napa River Restoration

Healthy rivers and other waterways contribute to healthy environments. Healthy environments contribute not only to healthy people, but also healthy winegrapes. And healthy winegrapes are necessary for the production of high-quality wines.

So it was good to learn yesterday that work is moving forward on the Napa River’s restoration project. It’s a project that wouldn’t be possible without the cooperation of numerous wineries, including the three mentioned in yesterday’s press release—Cakebread, Laird, and Nickel & Nickel.

Following is the text of yesterday’s release from Tara L. Thomas of Balzac Communications, to which we’ve added links to the participating wineries, organizations and agencies. To all participating in this very important project: Cheers!

The State Water Resources Control Board has awarded Napa County a $750,000 Clean Water Act 319(h) Nonpoint Source grant to fund construction of the Napa River Rutherford Reach Restoration Project in Reach 8, on the Cakebread, Nickel & Nickel and Laird properties in Rutherford and Oakville.

The grant review and selection process was a joint effort of the State Water Board, nine regional water quality control boards, and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. This funding will bring the Rutherford Reach Restoration Project to 70% completion by 2013.

The Rutherford Dust Society galvanized the local community of landowners to undertake the restoration of the Napa River in Rutherford and Oakville starting in 2002, with the initiation of the Rutherford Reach Restoration Project. A decade later, under the leadership of Napa County, the project has successfully demonstrated shared costs and benefits among all stakeholders, from private landowners to the local community, state and federal government.

To date, Napa County has received nearly $6 million in state and federal grant funding in support of the Rutherford Reach Restoration Project, which it has matched with local Measure A watershed improvement tax funds. Private landowners have contributed an equal amount in land and lost agricultural production value to expand the riparian forest by 18 acres along the Napa River.

These contributions are supporting improvement of water quality, enhancement of wildlife habitat, attenuation of flood damage, and provision of property protection along 4.5 miles of the Napa River. This project is on target to achieve completion by the TMDL compliance date of 2017.

With the Napa River Rutherford Reach Restoration Project serving as a successful model, Napa County is continuing its restoration efforts an additional nine miles downstream through the Oakville-Oak Knoll Reach, in partnership with the California Land Stewardship Institute and local landowners. Napa County is currently applying for grant funds to construct the remainder of the Rutherford Reach Restoration Project, and to begin construction on the restoration of the Oakville-Oak Knoll Reach Restoration Project.

Posted in Wine and the Environment
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