The Salinas River is the leading riparian corridor alengthy California’s Central Coast, as the waterburned drains approximately 4,600 square miles of land also in Monterey and also San Luis Obispo Counties. Originating in the Los Padres National Foremainder in central San Luis Obispo County, the headwaters begin in the La Panza Range and circulation northwesterly for 152 miles via the Salinas Valley and also empties into the Monterey Bay near Marina. The valley lies nestled in between 2 sets of mountain varieties, the Gabilan to the east and the Santa Lucia and also Sierra de Salinregarding the west.

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The watershed has 200,000 acres of irrigated agriculture. The mild climate and also deep, rich soil of the Salinas Valley have created an farming sector with its productive lands referred to as the “Salad Bowl of the Nation”. The majority of the USA lettuce, broccoli, artichokes, strawberries and also caulifreduced are produced in the Salinas Valley. This intensively farmed area alengthy 100 miles of the Salinas River is the cornerstamong the regional economic climate. Besides providing aquifer recharge for the irrigation water for Monterey County’s $4.5 billion growing agricultural industry, the river provides valuable fish and wildlife habitat.

As explained by John Steinbeck in ‘East of Eden’, the Salinas River is mostly competent as a dry, sandy wash that deserve to rage and also flood strongly in substantial winters, which has actually posed a challenge for those who have actually settled in and also tried to make a living in the valley. After a century and also a fifty percent of the valley bottom’s convariation to farming and city offers, the Salinas River’s riparian corridor has been significantly narrowed in components of the valley and streamside habitat influenced by the associated need for flood control enhancement of the channel itself to defend nearby dwellings and farmland. These transforms along with metropolitan and also agricultural runoff have actually influenced aboriginal fish and also wildlife species as well as water high quality. Wildlife at danger encompass the California red-legged frog (Rana aurora draytonii), the least Bell’s vireo (Vireo bellii pusillus) and the southern steelhead trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). The Salinas River and its tributaries have actually been designated by the National Marine Fisheries Service as critical habitat for steelhead.

OUR WORK IN THE WATERSHED

Weed Removal and Stream Maintenance

Habitat and water availcapacity are also both compromised and also endangered by the 3rd-biggest invasion of the noxious weed, Arunperform donax, which was first planted to safeguard river financial institutions from erosion however then got into the river bottom lands as well. Aruncarry out is a non-aboriginal aggressive perennial grass that had actually overtaken approximately 2,000 acres of the Salinas River by 2008, forming enormous monosocieties through essentially no food or habitat worth for aboriginal wildlife. Arundo is well-known to draw over three times as a lot water as aboriginal vegetation, increases the likelihood of fire and flooding, and also unlike native riparian plants, it gives bit shading to the in-stream habitat, leading to increased water temperatures and also reduced habitat quality for aquatic wildlife (Santa Ana Watershed Project Authority ). Once establimelted, it has the ability to out-contend and also totally suppush aboriginal vegetation. Any control of this invasive plant will have actually a straight affect on the high quality of this habitat and also staying clear of the additionally proliferation of Arundo downstream.

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Landowners and wildlife alengthy the Salinas River are endangered by two major, interassociated problems: Proliferation of the invasive weed Arunexecute donax, and the high threat of the river flooding valuable land also in wet years. The RCD of Monterey County is addressing these troubles by collaborating with landowners, federal government agencies, and NGOs via two cost-free programs: the Salinas River Arunperform Control Program and the Salinas River Stream Maintenance Program.