IRWM Projects Moving Onto Round Two!

SLOCIRWMUpdLogoIn July 2013, the Upper Salinas Las Tablas Resource Conservation District (US-LT RCD) submitted a slate of projects and programs to San Luis Obispo County to be considered for future funding through the Integrated Regional Water Management Grant Program.

The purpose of this program is to seek out county-wide projects that will help maintain or improve water supply quantity and quality for potable water, fire protection, ecosystem health, and agricultural production needs. The US-LT RCD solicited to both individuals and groups within the area to identify potential projects to address existing barriers and other issues relating to the grant’s scope. Through this collaborative effort to identify projects, the organization was able to successfully submit the project abstracts to the county earlier this summer for review.

The first phase of the process provided the county a project abstract including the general overall scope and purpose of each project and how they were able to address the overall purpose of the grant program. The county scored each project on a point system and released the information to all submitting agencies on which projects were eligible to move onto the next phase. Of the projects that were submitted, the following project areas were eligible for phase two:

  • Watershed Management Plans
  • Community-Based Social Marketing
  • County-wide Creek & Watershed Signage
  • Interpretive Nature Center
  • Educational & Pilot Project Programs
  • Irrigation Research Projects
  • Flood Control & Retention Ponds
  • Fertilizer & Ag Precision Programs

The US-LT RCD and collaborative partners were able fulfill and address limitations, vulnerabilities, conjunctive use and water use efficiency identified in the next phase of this process and recently submitted them to the county. Although these projects move onto the next phase, the county will again score each of the project objectives and decide whether or not projects will be considered for grant funding in the future.

For more information on these programs, please feel free to call the US-LT RCD office at 805-434-0396 x 5.

San Luis Obispo County Watershed Project

sloRCDacMap9_23_2011noHWY1The Upper Salinas Las Tablas Resource Conservation District (US-LT RCD) is working collaboratively with the Coastal San Luis Resource Conservation District to compile watershed specific information for use in the San Luis Obispo (SLO) County’s Integrative Regional Water Management (IRWM) Plan.

The organization’s efforts are focused on data collection from various sources which we have compiled into watershed snapshots. US-LT RCD hopes that these snapshots will not only be used by SLO County resource managers, but will provide an accessible location for data related to each watershed for the community at large, including a list of sources providing additional and more indepth information. The data collection efforts are due to SLO County in September and an independent document will be published compiling the overall efforts by the end of the year.

The snapshots and data collection will provide a starting point for phase II of the project which US-LT RCD hopes will receive funding in the near future. Included in Phase I of the project will include an online digital repository of sources and compiled information as well as an interactive GIS project that will assist municipalities and community members in creating successful projects and developing a greater understanding of each localized watershed planning area.

If you have any questions or would like to know more about this project, please contact US-LT RCD staff at 805-434-0396 ext. 5.

Erosion-Free Tips this Harvest Season

soilinhandErosion is harmful to agriculture and wildlife alike. Soils calves off of eroding stream banks along farmland and fields, reducing the land available for growing crops. Valuable, nutrient-rich topsoil is washed away, increasing the need for costly fertilizers and supplements. As soil leaves farmland and roadsides, it carries with it pesticides, nutrients, bacteria and other pollutants that enter waterways, harming both fish and wildlife. Here are some tips to keep your site protected from erosion this rainy season:

  1. Weatherproof daily traffic roads by mulching or chipping and establish a thick cover crop on seasonal roads.
  2. Establish thick cover crops throughout the field by October 15th and maintain throughout the rainy season.
  3. In areas where cover crops have not been established – use straw mulch at a rate of 2 tons per acre to provide a protective layer over the soil. Straw mulch should be tracked in using crimping, punch rollers or track walking.
  4. Avoid tilling in the late fall.
  5. Avoid using heavy equipment in the field during wet periods.
  6. Keep extra erosion control materials on-site, such as straw wattles, in case emergency maintenance is required. All members working in the field should be trained on proper installation of materials.

You can learn more about erosion control and maintaining your topsoil at our session at this year’s Sustainable Ag Expo. Learn more about our session by clicking here.