Feb 21, 2024

The Laguna de Santa Rosa, an expansive freshwater wetland complex located in the Russian River watershed of Sonoma County, CA, is a vital ecological and cultural resource that has undergone considerable change over the past 150 years. Land conversion for agriculture and development have led to a decrease in habitat for native species within the Laguna and an increase in the delivery of streamflow, fine sediment, and nutrients to the Laguna. For years, there has been a recognized need to develop a coordinated restoration plan for the Laguna along its 22 miles from Cotati to the confluence with the Russian River near Forestville that clearly lays out appropriate restoration actions to improve overall ecosystem health while addressing the needs of local residents.

On February 21, SFEI along with partners at Sonoma Water and the Laguna de Santa Rosa Foundation launched the recently completed Master Restoration Plan for the Laguna at a community event in Sebastopol, CA.  The Restoration Plan provides an overview of how the Laguna has changed over time and a planning framework that identifies opportunities for recreating critical habitats within an altered landscape that is vulnerable to climate change. It also presents conceptual designs for a set of projects within the Laguna floodplain to re-create well-connected and biologically diverse areas of open water, freshwater marsh, wet meadow, and woody riparian areas. The increased habitat extent would greatly benefit native fish and wildlife species who utilize these habitat types for part or all of their lifecycle. The restored areas would help improve water quality through fine sediment trapping and nutrient assimilation, and decrease conditions favorable for invasive Ludwigia spp.

This effort was funded by California Department of Fish and Wildlife and Sonoma Water.


Programs and Focus Areas: 
Watershed Science & Management