As most of you know, one of TU’s core conservation programs is the Western Water Project. The mission of the WWP is to restore healthy stream flows and habitat across the West. The WWP operates in seven states—California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Utah, Washington and Wyoming—and has earned major victories both legislative and in courts of water law. But perhaps this program’s signature work is building partnerships to design and implement on-the-ground restoration projects which demonstrate that working landscapes and fish can coexist.
For example, over the last 15 years, the WWP has helped make pragmatic updates to some state water codes to make restoring and improving stream flows easier, yet fair and equitable to water rights holders. We’ve also partnered with ranchers, farmers, landowners and agencies on scores of projects to restore and reconnect fragmented river systems.
TU’s California Water Project is dedicated to building partnerships with diverse interests and developing conservation projects which take advantage of California’s seasonal water abundance. For the past decade the Project has brought together farmers, residential landowners, conservation groups and resource agencies to realize collaborative projects that enhance water security for people and leave more water in-stream for salmon and steelhead at times when they need it most.
Today, the California Water Project, under the leadership of Stewardship Manager Mary Ann King and project manager Tim Frahm, launched the latest in its series of short films showcasing some of these partnership-projects, and its new online channel for housing them. Check out this blog post for a look at this remarkable project and the people -- and place -- at the heart of it.
The new video, titled You Better Take Care of It: Helping Farmers Help Fish on Pescadero Creek, documents the partnership between TU and Bianchi Flowers Farm in the Pescadero Creek watershed in San Mateo County. Bianchi Flowers is owned and operated by B.J. Burns, a lifelong farmer who grew up next to the creek. In the film, Burns talks about experiences such as cutting class to fish for steelhead in his youth.
Pescadero Creek is one of the last strongholds for wild steelhead on the Central Coast, and holds promise for restoration of native coho salmon, as well.
The new video channel provides a user-friendly interface and useful background content for the videos, which showcase four projects (to date) that improve flows in streams during the dry season. The URL for this channel is https://vimeo.com/channels/californiastreamflow.
Please join me in congratulating the Steelhead Whisperer (Tim), Mary Ann, and TU’s Senior Producer Josh Duplechian for their fine work on the Bianchi Flowers/Pescadero Creek project. Let me know if you have any questions about this project, and as always, thanks for all that you are doing on the front lines of cold water conservation.
Tight lines, Sam