Sonoma County snares $8 million to fight drought, climate change

May 27, 2016

Posted in: News Articles

Sonoma County snares $8 million to fight drought, climate change

Sonoma County secured an $8 million federal grant to fund conservation projects and acquire land development rights that help combat the impacts of drought and climate change in the Russian River watershed, local and federal officials said Friday.

The grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Regional Conservation Partnership Program will underwrite a five-year effort by a partnership of 30 local agencies, led by the Sonoma County Agricultural and Open Space District, the Sonoma County Water Agency, the Pepperwood Foundation and two resource conservation districts.

The local partners in the initiative, dubbed the Sonoma County Venture Conservation Program, will put up at least $8 million in matching funds.

“We need to constantly ‘conservationalize’ our lives in every way,” Gore said. It doesn’t mean curbing the business community, but “it means keep getting better,” he said.

The large coalition of partners focused on common goals made Sonoma County’s proposal “one of the pre-eminent projects in the nation,” said Jason Weller, chief of the Agriculture Department’s Natural Resources Conservation Service. “You guys were light years ahead of many other communities. I want to see how this ends up five years from now.”

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