The Coastal San Luis Resource Conservation District is offering free technical assistance to growers and ranchers in the Los Osos and Chorro valleys to improve water efficiency, control nitrates, reduce sedimentation and address other agricultural concerns.
“Growers are starting to evaluate their operations and their ability to meet the Agricultural Order passed by the Regional Water Quality Control Board this year,” said Guy Bates, district engineer. “The RCD’s agricultural water quality program will provide technical recommendations, designs and cost share funds to implement priority projects. We encourage people to give us a call to determine exactly how the program can support their projects.”
This year the program supported installation of 12,800 feet of creek fencing on two ranches, working with growers on over 600 acres of irrigated agricultural land, continuing education on irrigation and nutrient management field tools, and one year of surface water quality sampling.
The Morro Bay National Estuary Program is a key project partner supporting stream data collection. They also provided additional support by installing creek fencing within the watershed.
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“The NEP and RCD have a long history of partnering to promote sustainable agriculture practices in our watershed,” said. Adrienne Harris, MBNEP executive director. “We are excited the RCD has the ability to provide technical assistance to growers to examine water and fertilizer efficiencies. Working together our community can sustain water quality that supports wildlife, recreation, and well-balanced economic uses.”
Given the small size of the Morro Bay watershed and the ability to focus on problem areas, it is anticipated that completed projects will result in measurable reductions in pollutant loading along affected stream reaches. The program will continue through early 2014 and is supported by a grant from the State Water Resource Control Board.
To learn more about the Coastal San Luis RCD and its mission, visit http://www.coastalrcd.org or call 772-4391.