Dear Friends of Clean Water,

CCWI has helped citizens access their right to clean, healthy streams, watersheds and drinking water since 2002. Currently 35 volunteers monitor water quality in 50 locations in Sonoma County including Dutch Bill Creek, the lower Russian River, Austin Creek, Laguna de Santa Rosa, Mark West Creek, Jenner Creek, Pocket Canyon, Santa Rosa Creek, Atascadero/Green Valley Creek, Windsor Creek, Cheney Creek, Estero Americano, and Salmon Creek. In the past we have found and reported to regulatory agencies positive tests for excess coliform and E.coli bacteria in the Russian River, Atascadero, and Windsor Creek; excessive turbidity threatening fish spawning grounds in Salmon Creek and Cheney Gulch; and we have added several new water monitoring locations.

The staff at CCWI continually welcomes citizen water monitors from throughout Sonoma County, collects and analyzes their water samples, and reports water contamination to the public and regulatory agencies. Citizen monitors participate in their community and government when investigating water quality. Our regulators need our eyes and ears to protect our watersheds and our voices when that protection is failing. CCWI has provided training, support and equipment to enable citizens to gather evidence to use in engaging others in ensuring watershed health.

Our volunteers do all the testing and analysis at CCWI, we do not contract out with private for-profit companies for this work. All data is gathered by your fellow citizens as a service to the public and the data is available to everyone to download from our web site at www.ccwi.org. The data also is shared with our regulatory agencies and elected officials. Our program is unique in Sonoma County. Our volunteer teams provide essential ongoing water quality data necessary in directing protections and restoration projects within these watersheds. Many of our streams and rivers are not monitored for water quality by any other group or agency. CCWI provides front line information on watershed health. As an illustration of the unique service we provide, we provided some of the only data available on many of the waterways in Sonoma County for the federal government 303-d list of impaired waterbodies.

We are currently in need of funds to continue our programs here at the Community Clean Water Institute. We need benefactors to make a generous tax-deductible donation to continue Community Clean Water Institute's water quality monitoring program. In the past, when our pockets were fuller, the addition of a staff member made a significant difference between flourishing and just hanging on. We would like to continue nutrient testing and perhaps offer free bacteria testing. Currently, the cost of bacteria testing supplies is out of our reach and we must ask for a fee from our partner organizations. Our volunteers and data users envision one day using more sophisticated equipment like a flow meter and continuous dataloggers, all requiring more funding. However today we are suffering funding shortfalls that put all our programs at risk.

Our waterways in Sonoma County provide drinking water to half a million people and habitat to endangered salmon species. Threats specifically monitored by CCWI include the logging of redwood forests, polluted runoff from vineyards and ranches, urban stormwater runoff, wastewater discharges, gravel mining, and overwithdrawl from ground and surface waters. Recent scientific reports suggest that nutrients from farms and wastewater traveling in our coastal rivers are causing a crisis in our oceans including dead zones, deadly algae blooms, and crashing fish stocks.

Because of these grave issues, CCWI wants to move toward more aggressive source identification when pollution is found. This means more bacteria testing, contracting with certified laboratories for sampling that we cannot perform in-house, and expanding our capacity to include in-stream dataloggers, auto event samplers and more parameters. Our objectives for the future are as follows:

Local Monitoring:

  • Follow up on pollution hot spots through special studies;
  • Monitor wells for discharge rates, levels and quality over time;
  • Monitor storm events;
  • Monitor construction sites, THP and vineyard runoff, gravel mine discharges, dairy runoff, and any other point sources that should be prioritized for clean up.

Monitoring Global Trends:

  • Global climate change's effects on water temperatures and pH;
  • Excess nutrient runoff into oceans, causing dead zones and deadly algae blooms.

Please consider helping CCWI obtain these goals. Your tax-deductible donation really will make a difference in your local watershed. Your donation of these amounts provides:

  • $2,500: Supplies for bacteria testing at all water monitoring sites;
  • $500   : Expand water monitoring to five new sites, training volunteer monitors;
  • $250   : Buy two temperature dataloggers that will take water temperature readings 365 days a year, 24 hours a day;
  • $100   : Maintain our new luminescent dissolved oxygen meter for one year.

Sincerely Yours,

Sarah Shaeffer
Lynn Hamilton

-- Tax deductible donations may be made quickly and securely using the PayPal button to the right of this page or by sending a check to: Community Clean Water Institute at the address below. --