Planning Commission votes to protect Atascadero Creek Wetlands

Carol Benfell, Friends of Atascadero Wetlands, SONOMA COUNTY GAZETTE
Protection for one of the last fresh water marshes in Sonoma County won support from the Sonoma County Planning Commission on May 5th, when commissioners voted 4 -1 to approve a General Plan amendment that will identify and protect wetlands along West County’s Atascadero Creek.
The General Plan is the county’s blueprint for land use and development. The amendment will designate which areas along the creek are wetlands and require that agriculture and development keep 100 feet away from wetland boundaries, unless a future, more detailed study shows the boundaries designated for wetlands are inaccurate.
“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to protect these important environments,” said Pam Davis, the commissioner representing the Fifth District, which includes West County.
The hope is that preserving and protecting the wetlands will lead to restoration of a once-flourishing run of endangered coho salmon and protect groundwater supplies for homes and ranches. Wetlands also provide habitat for plant and animal species, including native and migrating birds.
Read more at: General Plan Amendment proposal for Atascadero Creek Environment