Southern steelhead are an ocean going form of rainbow trout that need freshwater for survival, and cold, clean water within their environment is vital to the species success. Water quality in the Santa Clara River, its estuary and tributaries, essential steelhead freshwater environments in Southern California, have deteriorated as a result of pollutants draining off surrounding urbanized and farmed land. Strategies for protecting the water quality in the estuary, as well as other stream and river habitats, will be presented in a public program ‘Attaining Clean Water for Fish, Farms and Families’ on March 27 at 6:30pm at the Oxnard Performing Arts Center (Hueneme Room), 800 Hobson Way, Oxnard.
“California’s rivers and landscapes have been highly altered and, as a result, water quality for fish habitat has suffered,” explains Candice Meneghin, CalTrout Southern California Conservation Manager, “however, there is a suite of solutions for achieving improvement, ranging from state regulations to funding and incentives.” The program will feature water quality experts and professionals including staff from the California State Regional Water Quality Control Board, Ventura County Farm Bureau, and stream monitoring task forces.
Program attendees can expect to come away with a better understanding of why freshwater habitat quality is impacted, what contaminants are present, and how to improve the current water quality conditions to allow steelhead populations to thrive jointly with agricultural and urban development.
Water Talks are an ongoing series of informational and educational presentations which include local and regional speakers sharing their knowledge on a range of water related topics. The programs is intended to increase informed participation in water policy through interaction between community members and experts. All Water Talks are free, open to the public and hosted by the Santa Clara River Steelhead Coalition whose mission is to protect and restore wild Southern steelhead and its habitat in the Santa Clara River watershed. The Coalition is chaired and coordinated by California Trout, a nonprofit organization dedicated to ensuring resilient wild fish in healthy waters for a better California.