Sonoma County officials to launch 'long overdue' Russian River revitalization project

The Western States Water Council takes a tour of the Sonoma County Water Agency Mirabel inflatable dam and fish ladder on the Russian River in Sonoma County, Calif., on June 27, 2017. (Photo courtesy Florence Low/California Department of Water Resour

Officials with Sonoma County announced on Tuesday the launch of the Russian River Revitalization project this summer, aimed at improving the river's health in spite of recent wildfires and ongoing drought conditions.

The project is being carried out via a collaboration with Russian River Confluence, a collation of more than 22 organizations, and will engage businesses, residents and visitors in stewardship of the river -- a critical natural resource in western Sonoma County.

The project will also identify solutions to the environmental challenges threatening the river, country officials said.

"This project is long overdue," Sonoma County Supervisor Lynda Hopkins said in a statement. "Floods, fires and now the drought have caused enormous challenges to our local businesses and the health of our river. Sonoma County is determined to provide all the support possible to support the vitality of this delicate resource."

County officials have also tapped Healdsburg-based agency Catch Creative to help develop the campaign to inspire stewardship and engagement.

County officials said stakeholder meetings will be announced in the coming months for research and input from residents.