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RUSSIAN RIVER ESTUARY MANAGEMENT PROJECT DEIR

RUSSIAN RIVER ESTUARY MANAGEMENT PROJECT DRAFT ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT REPORT

The Sonoma County Water Agency (Water Agency), as Lead Agency, has prepared a Draft Environmental Impact Report (Draft EIR) pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) to disclose potential environmental effects of the proposed Russian River Estuary Management Project (Project). The 60‐day review period begins on December 15, 2010, and extends through February 14, 2011.

In keeping with the Water Agency’s Sustainability Program, the Draft EIR is available electronically at www.sonomacountywater.org. Hard copies or electronic copies of the Draft EIR are available for purchase at estuaryproject@esassoc.com or at the Water Agency’s administrative office. Copies are also available for review at the following locations:

Sonoma County Water Agency Administrative Office: 404 Aviation Blvd, Santa Rosa, CA 95403;  Guerneville Regional Library: 14107 Armstrong Woods Road, Guerneville, CA 95446;  Occidental Library: 73 Main Street, Occidental, CA 95465; and  Sonoma County Central Library: 3rd and E Street, Santa Rosa, CA 95404.

In order to comply with the requirements of the National Marine Fisheries Service’s (NMFS) Russian River Biological Opinion, the Water Agency, in collaboration with NMFS and California Department of Fish and Game (CDFG), will implement the Estuary Management Project. The Project is located in Sonoma County from the mouth of Russian River near Jenner upstream to Vacation Beach. The Project includes adaptive management of the Estuary as a summer lagoon during the lagoon management period from May 15 to October 15. The purpose of the Project is to enhance summer rearing habitat for young steelhead and manage Estuary water levels to minimize flood hazard. The Water Agency will continue to artificially breach the barrier beach, as necessary, the remainder of the year.

Environmental Analysis: The proposed project may result in potentially significant environmental effects in the following resource categories: Hydrology and Flooding, Water Quality, Biological Resources, Recreation, and Cumulative. Mitigation measures are proposed, where feasible.

Russian River Estuary Management Project Page 1 Notice of Availability of Draft EIR December 2010Alternatives: The Water Agency has evaluated alternatives to the project, including a No Project, Reduced Project, Temporary Outlet Standpipe, Habitat Restoration, Jetty Modification, and Flood Control Alternatives.

A Public Hearing Will Be Held:

January 18, 2011 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Jenner Community Center 10398 Highway 1, Jenner CA 95450

Please include a name, address, and telephone number of a contact person in your agency for all future correspondence on this subject. Please send your comments to: Sonoma County Water Agency, Attention Jessica Martini‐Lamb, 404 Aviation Boulevard, Santa Rosa, CA 95403 or estuaryproject@esassoc.com. The public comment period closes at 5:00 p.m. February 14, 2011. If you have any questions regarding the Draft EIR, please call Jessica Martini‐Lamb at (707) 547‐1903.