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San Francisco Bay Fund Inventory of Projects

San Francisco Bay Fund Inventory of Projects

Monitoring Turbidity in Sonoma Creek

Organization: Sonoma Ecology Center
2001 Grant Recipient - Sonoma County

Purpose

Too much of a good thing may still be a good thing, but too much sediment in water can be a pollutant. In fact, California's Clean Water Act lists Sonoma Creek as impaired by sediment. The concern about sediment-such as silt, clay, and sand-in stream water stems from its potentially adverse effects to habitat for threatened native species such as steelhead and salmon.

During wet storms, heavy runoff carries sediment to tributaries and creeks. Increased suspended sediment (sediment carried by water) can elevate turbidity (water clarity), which negatively impacts fish. Highly turbid waters have been observed to promote physiological stress, reduce growth rates, and impair the ability of species to feed. Damage by sediment to gills can cause outright fatalities. Given the right conditions, stream sediment also clogs spawning gravels, limiting reproductive success.

The Sonoma Ecology Center, a nonprofit group working toward a condition of sustainable ecological health in the Sonoma Valley, is monitoring turbidity and suspended sediment exposures for aquatic organisms in mainstem Sonoma Creek and selected tributaries.

NRPI Database Entry

http://www.ice.ucdavis.edu/nrpi/NRPIDescription.asp?ProjectPK=343

Volunteer Opportunities

If you would like to inquire about opportunities to volunteer for this project's activities, please contact the organization's Volunteer Coordinator, Jim Chayka, at Watershed Station phone number 707-996-0712, Email: jim@sonomaecologycenter.org

Primary Contact for the Project
Rebecca Lawton (Geologist)
Phone: (707) 996-0712 x116
Email: becca@sonomaecologycenter.org

Quick Links

Project Photos

SEC staff member Jeanna Menze collects samples on
Bear Creek, an upper-watershed tributary to Sonoma Creek.

SEC staff member Jeanna Menze collects samples on Bear Creek, an upper-watershed tributary to Sonoma Creek.

Grab samples undergo vacuum pumping in the M.U.D. Laboratory.

Grab samples undergo vacuum pumping in the M.U.D. Laboratory.

Will Pier of Sonoma Ecology Center and Tracy Allen of EME
Systems, Inc., install the first probe housing at Station A.

Will Pier of Sonoma Ecology Center and Tracy Allen of EME Systems, Inc., install the first probe housing at Station A.

The confluence of Sonoma and Bear Creeks following a rainstorm in Sonoma Valley.

The confluence of Sonoma and Bear Creeks following a rainstorm in Sonoma Valley.

Last modified: 8/15/2012 5:17 PM by S. Haren

UCR Contact Information

Water Resources Collections and Archives
Tomás Rivera Library, 4th Floor
PO Box 5900
University of California
Riverside, CA 92517-5900

Tel: 951-827-3233    Fax: 951-827-4673    email Email

CSUSB Contact Information

Water Resources Institute, CSUSB
Boykin Witherspoon III, Institute Director
California State University, San Bernardino
PL-401 5500 University Parkway
San Bernardino CA 92407-2318

Tel: 909-537-3685    email Email

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