A Fishy Wine Tale
There's been a slow transformation taking place behind the winery and my house these last couple of months. If you've driven over Lambert Bridge you might have even seen it. In a way it looks like a moonscape...or something otherworldly. Tall trees stick out of the earth with their roots reaching to the sky. Large pieces of equipment are scattered here and there. Boulders are bolted together in piles.
The Dry Creek Habitat Enhancement Demonstration Restoration Project is a partnership between the Sonoma County Water Agency, the Army Corps of Engineers, and landowners along the Dry Creek designed to build a fish friendly habitat. It includes bank stabilization and erosion control along with the development of environmentally friendly spawning pools for endangered species such as Steelhead Trout and Coho Salmon. So far, they've completed one mile--not a small feat when you consider 1000s of cubic yards of dirt were removed from a once abandoned channel. That's a lot of truckloads. Eventually, the county plans to complete a six mile corridor spanning the Dry Creek.
This federally funded project is a perfect example of the government and the private sector working hand in hand for a positive outcome. The project commenced some years ago when the county first approached The Husband to flesh out their ideas which included access to our property. Many meetings and negotiations later, access was granted along with an overwhelming endorsement from dear old hubby. At first I was skeptical, but why not? What's good for the environment is surely good for us and there's no doubt this will have a positive impact over time.
As a child growing up on West Dry Creek Road, I remember the fears of flooding and erosion that we had about the Dry Creek. Bank reinforcement was illegal yet farmers who owned land along the creek often placed old car bodies, tires and other material along the edges to avoid erosion. It was not a pretty sight let me tell you!
Today, we are fortunate that in addition to creating an environmentally friendly fish habitat, we also benefit from the anchored log jams and bank stabilization that will prevent our land from washing away.
The project came to fruition today with the release of 2000 juvenile salmon into the creek. What a sight to behold! By 2020 when the total project is complete, Dry Creek Valley may be known for its wine - and its fish.
This is a blog about what it's really like to be in the wine industry...so sit back, take a sip and enjoy!
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