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Welcome to the California Watershed Posse's

Mission : Implementation

The Water Quality Protection Program, (sponsored by NOAA) is a coalition of twenty-seven federal, state and local agencies, public groups, representatives of the agricultural, boating, equestrian communities, and businesses  working to develop and carry out long-term, proactive water quality management plans for the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary's eleven watershed regions.  The program's goals are to address existing water quality concerns and to prevent the kinds of expensive water pollution crises that have occurred elsewhere in the country through a stewardship approach.  The WQPP mission is, by voluntary partnership effort, to protect and enhance the physical, chemical and biological conditions in the Sanctuary and its adjacent watersheds. In 1995, the Half Moon Bay Coastside Foundation's Watershed Posse became San Mateo County's most active participant in the WQPP.

At the heart of the Foundation's efforts is a plan that embodies twenty four strategies, for agriculture, urban runoff and marine and boating activity, intended to protect and enhance the quality of water that drains into the Sanctuary while sustaining the economic vitality of agriculture. The strategies are focused on improving technical assistance and education, funding and economic incentives for conservation measures, coordination and streamlining of existing regulatory systems in order to reduce the barriers to implementing erosion control practices, and improving maintenance practices for rural roadways and public lands.  Our California Watershed Posse is providing a leadership role in establishing networks of private and public sector landowners to address water quality issues. These voluntary projects, in cooperation with the California Regional Water Quality Control Boards, will represent an innovative effort on the part landowners and organizations to establish improved management practices, while building on the many positive practices already underway.

Our California Watershed Posse (CWP) monitors, identifies and fights to stop the destructive and polluting activities of private and public entities impacting California's bays and coastal watersheds. The CWP is working closely with state  regulatory agencies to monitor and test local ground water, subsurface soils and run off for toxic pollutants in several areas, including the CWP membership in the Lake Berryessa Watershed Partnership. Since 1991, CWP has provided oversight and stewardship services for the off shore owners of the historic 650 acre Johnston Ranch, home of the steel head trout occupied Arroyo Leon Creek now owned by Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST). The Arroyo Leon Creek is being polluted by run off from the Johnston Ranch unlicensed, illegal landfill. The CWP represents the San Mateo County coastal urban/wildlands intermix area for the Coastside Fire Safe Council. The CWP has  provided monitoring and stewardship services for coastal watershed lands of Corral De Tierra, Coastways, the Filoli Foundation and the San Francisco PUC. The CWP provides and maintains all weather road access to the HMB Fire District, PG&E, CDF and State Park & Recreation for much of the current open space, park and private rural lands. The Foundation's web site, www.saveourbay.org sponsors a wide array of free Coastside Community services: Pollution Alert notification posted by the San Mateo County Environmental Health Department, Coastside Communities Forum, Coastside Activities Calendar, Greater Good Shopping Village, and the Pitch In Volunteer Program for  ongoing weekly beach/park  volunteer cleanups.

A Threatened Sanctuary

   Safeguarding the precious Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary goes beyond protecting the resources within its boundaries. Over 50 rivers, creeks and estuaries drain into the Sanctuary, making it particularly vulnerable to impacts from human activities. Runoff from forests, cities and agricultural land can wash pollutants - like sediment, pesticides and bacteria - downstream into the Sanctuary and its nearby wetlands. Wetland and riparian areas have been reduced, limiting their ability to act as natural filters for today's pollutants. Reduction of these natural buffers can affect the migration and spawning of steelhead and salmon. Sewage outfalls and marinas can contribute a variety of contaminants to the marine ecosystem. Oil tankers steam through the Sanctuary, carrying with them the ongoing threat of water-fouling spills.

The Water Quality Program - A New Approach to Enhancing and Protecting Sanctuary Resources

   The Sanctuary's health is tied to the quality of its marine waters and inland water resources. Improving water quality is key to preserving and protecting all Sanctuary resources. Recognizing this, 27 federal, state and local agencies, plus the region's managers, businesses, scientists and concerned public, are working together to develop an innovative ecosystem-based Water Quality Protection Program for the Sanctuary. The Protection Program aims to integrate the large number of existing water quality programs and plans. Its goal is to enhance and protect the Sanctuary's chemical, physical and biological integrity.

Solving Problems

   The Protection Program has identified a variety of water quality issues and problems in the Sanctuary and its watersheds. These include toxic pollutants in sediments, shellfish and wildlife; human health problems; sedimentation and low flows in rivers and streams; wetlands alteration; and habitat loss. The Protection Program is developing and carrying out plans containing specific strategies and actions that address these problems while sustaining the region's economic viability. Strategies include public education, technical assistance, management practices, research and monitoring, and regulations and enforcement, where necessary.

Get Involved

   The Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary is a gift all of us can share. And all of us must work together to protect it. We invite you to participate in the Water Quality Protection Program.

Help Design the Protection Program

   Help design the Protection Program by attending public meetings and commenting on the Program's development.

Become Informed

   Become informed about the issues affecting the Sanctuary. A variety of educational materials, technical reports and information sheets are available free or for a nominal charge by calling the Protection Program Office at (408) 647-4201.

Call The Protection Program Office

   Call the Protection Program Office at (408) 647-4201 to arrange for a speaker to address your group or organization.

Join The Protection Program

   Together we can preserve the unique beauty and incredible resources of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.

The Water Quality Protection Program
Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary
299 Foam Street, Suite D
Monterey, California 93940

Tel: (408) 647-4201
Fax: (408) 647-4250

 All information about MBNMS provided by US Department of Commerce.

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California Watershed Posse

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1589 Higgins Canyon Road   Half Moon Bay, California. 94019
Phone: 650-867-5779           Fax: 866-756-3101

Save Our Bay supports the Protection Program of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce.
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Sponsor and  Member Half Moon Bay Coastside Chamber of Commerce