Laguna de Santa Rosa Funding

To Jonathan Birdsong:

Thanks Jonathan !

You have answered the question (s).

I will do some more tracking.

Jonathan wrote:

Alan –

The funding for Laguna de Santa Rosa was Rep. Woolsey’s earmark. She was able to secure funding for the Agriculture Research Service (ARS) in the Agriculture appropriations subcommittee bill. This bill first passed the House on July 19th, 2007. I would suggest you contact their office for more detailed answers to your questions.

In your subject line, you also mentioned Pierces Disease, but didn’t ask a question. Just to be clear, the funding for Pierces Disease (also included in the Agriculture appropriations subcommittee bill) that my boss and Senator’s Feinstein and Boxer secured was for trapping, control and research. Most of the research will be done at ARS laboratories at U.C. Davis and Parlier, CA. The trapping/control portion of the funding will go to the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS).

Subject: Earmarks – Laguna de Santa Rosa – Pierces Disease

Hi Jonathan !

Happy New Year ! I trust that you had a good vacation.

I have some questions on Earmarks related to the above subjects that I have only heard about in the press – with no detail attached.

I would like a quick summary of how the money is to be spent.

Though I may be seen as a wild-eyed environmental radical by some (mostly timber industry folk), I basically am a fiscal conservative not conservative enough according to my late friend Milton Friedman – with an extensive background in business and economics. (probably why I am so demanding – fiscally and as a running coach). I hate to see money needlessly go down the drain. In the resource recovery business we simply can not afford it.

Laguna – short version: The Laguna de Santa Rosa is a very low gradient, and shallow, watercourse draining the Santa Rosa Plain – from the southern extremity of Rhonert Park to its confluence with the Russian River. The low gradient aspect results in difficulty in moving inputs of sediment and nutrients from the system. As a result of the pollutant inputs, mostly sediment and nutrients – with other minor pollutants/pathogens, the nutrient and sediment bound system is supporting the growth of invasive Ludwigia. All of this is a big, big problem – as you have heard.

The sources of the sediment is mostly from development land and soil disruption – road building and construction. Thus the need for a good County wide Stormwater and sediment control plan. The sources of the nutrients are, mostly – but not entirely, from City of Santa Rosa wastewater discharges into the Laguna. Coast Action Group was a major player in maintaining the Laguna on the California and EPA Impaired Water Bodies List. The Laguna Foundation supported this listing. The resulting TMDL, coming on line – soon, should address much of these issue.

The Laguna Foundation is quite adept at making the case for the need for funds for restorative purposes – mostly based on the Ludwigia problem. However, the Foundation has said little, about two sentences, about the underlaying causes of the problem. Most of the restoration money, to date, has been spend in Ludwigia poisoning and removal projects. You might not that the herbicide and removal projects do not work and the Ludwigia keeps coming back – a very stubborn plant supported by exactly the right conditions.

The net, net is; the Ludwigia problem will not be solved unless the underlying conditions, nutrients and sediment, supporting the problem is addressed. Period – end of story.

Thus, I am interested in what the Earmarked money is to be spent on. Could you fill me in – with a short version?


I have Cced concerned parties.

Alan Levine