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Watershed Organizations

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There are many organizations working to study and improve the environmental and economic conditions in the watershed. This page provides an introduction to some of these organizations and links for you to learn more about what they are doing.

This overview identifies organizations working at the Federal, State, Regional, County and City level. There are also Special Districts, educational and research organizations included. These organizations all work on a range of issues in the watershed.

To find out more, scroll below or click on one of the listed topic areas.

A complete list is also available as a printable pdf. This list is not exhaustive, but does provide an overview.  


Agricultural Associations


Agriculture & Land-Based Training Association

Our mission is to advance economic viability, social equity and ecological land management among limited-resource and aspiring farmers. We work to create opportunities for family farms while providing education and demonstration on conservation, habitat restoration, marketing and whole farm planning.
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   ALBA

Agricultural Water Quality Coalition

The Central Coast Agricultural Water Quality Coalition is an esteemed alliance of farmers and ranchers committed to watershed protection in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.
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  Agricultural Water Quality Coalition - click here to visit the organization website

Community Alliance with Family Farmers

The Community Alliance with Family Farmers advocates for California family farmers and sustainable agriculture.
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   Agricultural Water Quality Coalition - click here to visit the organization website

Farm Bureau

Farm Bureau is an independent, non-governmental, voluntary organization governed by and representing farm and ranch families united for the purpose of analyzing their problems and formulating action to achieve educational improvement, economic opportunity and social advancement and, thereby, to promote the national well-being.
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  Farm Bureau - click here to visit the organization website

Monterey County Farm Bureau

Monterey County Farm Bureau supports the people that work the land. The organization serves as a collective voice for farmers and ranchers and provides information, benefits and services to our members.  
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  Monterey County Farm Bureau - click here to visit the organization website

Santa Clara County Farm Bureau

Santa Clara County Farm Bureau is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting and preserving farming and ranching in the Santa Clara Valley.
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   Monterey County Farm Bureau - click here to visit the organization website

Santa Cruz County Farm Bureau

The Santa Cruz County Farm Bureau helps insure that the agriculture industry in the county remains viable, and continues to generate financial security for the entire community.
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   Santa Cruz County Farm Bureau - click here to visit the organization website

San Benito County Farm Bureau

This land trust is devoted to providing financial options to landowners in order to protect the agricultural heritage of San Benito County.
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   San_Benito_County_Farm_Bureau

Central Coast Ag Task Force (CCATF)

The Central Coast Agricultural Task Force has been collectively monitoring, researching, disseminating, and acting on any issue of benefit or impact on the capabilities of agriculture in the central coast, with an emphasis on local issues since 1984. The purpose of the Central Coast Ag Task Force (CCATF) is to monitor, appropriate, governmental boards, councils, commissions, and/or agencies sufficient to keep CCATF Members advised of actual or potential issues of benefit or detriment to the mission of CCATF, which is the long-term viability of agricultural on the Central Coast. CCATF publishes a weekly e-newsletter that contains recent ag-related new articles.
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CCATF is made up of the following Central Coast agricultural organizations:

 

   CCATF

Organic Farming Research Foundation

OFRF's mission is to foster improvement and widespread adoption of organic farming systems by sponsoring research and education & outreach projects through a competitive grantmaking program, disseminating the results of OFRF-funded research and education projects to farmers and growers, and educating the public and decision-makers about organic farming issues.
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Land Trust


Monterey County Ag Land Trust

Founded on August 1, 1984 the Ag Land Trust is a public benefit corporation created with the intent to preserve farmland and benefit the farmers who make their living from that land.
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   Mont_County_Ag_Land_Trust

Land Trust of Santa Cruz County

The Land Trust of Santa Cruz County, in cooperation with public and private interests, protects and manages lands of significant natural resource, agricultural, cultural and open space value.
Learn more »

   Land Trust of Santa Cruz County - click here to visit the organization website

San Benito County Agricultural Land Trust

This land trust is devoted to providing financial options to landowners in order to protect the agricultural heritage of San Benito County.
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Silicon Valley Land Conservancy

The Silicon Valley Land Conservancy is a nonprofit entity formed to preserve and protect the remaining open space in Silicon Valley.
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   Silicon Valley Land Conservancy - click here to visit the organization website

The Nature Conservancy

The Nature Conservancy protects Earth's most important natural places — for you and future generations — through great science and smart partnerships.
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  The Nature Conservancy - click here to visit the organization website
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Business Association


Chamber of Commerce – Pajaro Valley

The Pajaro Valley Chamber of Commerce promotes Watsonville and surrounding community areas and is dedicated to advancing the business success of its members.
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   Chamber of Commerce – Pajaro Valley - click here to visit the organization website

Chamber of Commerce – Santa Clara

A unified organization committed to providing unique, innovative leadership and exemplary service to enhance prosperity in our community.
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  Santa_Clara_County_Farm_Bureau

American Society of Civil Engineers

ASCE's Mission is to provide essential value to our members and partners, advance civil engineering, and serve the public good
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   ASCE
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Environmental


Sierra Club

Since 1892, the Sierra Club has been working to protect communities, wild places, and the planet itself. They are the oldest, largest, and most influential grassroots environmental organization in the United States.
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Loma Prieta Chapter
This local chapter of the Sierra Club is committed to participating in the South Santa Clara County Habitat Conservation Plan/Natural Communities Conservation Plan. The planning area includes the Uvas-Llagas watershed, which is a tributary to the Pajaro River.
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Ventana Chapter
This local chapter of the Sierra Club is interested in preserving the Pajaro River and its watershed through environmental activism.
Learn more »
To view Ventana Chapter's Pajaro River background information page, click here.

 

   Sierra Club - click here to visit the organization website

Coastal Watershed Council

The Coastal Watershed Council is a nonprofit organization committed to the preservation, protection and management of coastal watersheds through establishment of community-based watershed stewardship programs, education and community outreach.
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   Coastal Watershed Council - click here to visit the organization website

Planning and Conservation League Foundation (PCLF)

The Planning and Conservation League Foundation mission is to ensure that California continues to be an attractive, livable, and equitable state by engaging in cutting-edge environmental public policy research, and educating and empowering local communities to understand and participate in local and state environmental decision making processes. Learn more »

   Planning and Conservation League Foundation (PCLF) - click here to visit the organization website

Coastal Habitat Education Environmental Restoration (CHEER)

Coastal Habitat Education Environmental Restoration, also known as CHEER, is an organization with a fresh take on environmental programming. Its mission is to restore coastal ecosystems but do so in a way that safeguards resource-based local economies. CHEER recognizes that varied interests are represented in local economies. It believes that assessing and reconciling these interests so that each group profits by cooperation in restoration efforts is the key to more effective environmental programming.
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   CHEER

Central Coast Salmon Enhancement

Central Coast Salmon Enhancement, Inc. is a non-profit, tax-exempt, volunteer corporation dedicated to the enhancement and restoration of the Central Coast salmon fishery and local creeks. Salmon Enhancement is also devoted to educating the community on the ecology and economy of these resources.
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   Central Coast Salmon Enhancement - click here to visit the organization website

Ecology Action

Ecology Action partners with local and state agencies, cities, counties and utilities to provide innovative environmental services that improve quality of life and contribute to a sustainable economy.
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   Ecology Action - click here to visit the organization website

Save Our Shores

Save Our Shores is a non-profit marine conservation organization in Santa Cruz, California. Their mission is caring for the marine environment through ocean awareness, advocacy, and citizen action.
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   Save Our Shores - click here to visit the organization website

Surfrider Foundation

The Surfrider Foundation is a non-profit environmental organization dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of the world’s oceans, waves and beaches for all people, through conservation, activism, research and education. There are 60 local chapters in the US, including two in the Pajaro River watershed.
Learn more »

 

   Surfrider Foundation - Monterey - click here to visit the organization website

The Otter Project/Monterey Coastkeeper

The Monterey Coastkeeper and the Otter Project work together with the intent of tackling issues of water quality through policy advocacy and legal tools to ensure that the interests of development, industry and urban activity are kept in line with the environmental needs and wishes of the community it serves.
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   The Otter Project/Monterey Coastkeeper - click here to visit the organization website

Watsonville Wetlands Watch

Watsonville Wetlands Watch is dedicated to the protection, restoration, and appreciation of the wetlands of the Pajaro Valley, especially involving members of the Watsonville community and the students of the Pajaro Valley Unified School District.
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   Watsonville Wetlands Watch - click here to visit the organization website
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Community


San Martin Neighborhood Alliance

SMNA's goal is to provide the public with a virtual resource of information relevant to any growth activity that threatens both the legacy and the future of San Martin.
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   San Martin Neighborhood Alliance - click here to visit the organization website

Environmental Justice for Water Coalition

The Environmental Justice Coalition for Water is a network of more than fifty grassroots and intermediary organizations. EJCW enables community members to take control of their water resources by participating in water policy, planning and decisions.
Learn more »

   Environmental Justice for Water Coalition - click here to visit the organization website

Action Pajaro Valley

The mission of Action Pajaro Valley is to create a positive future for the residents of the Pajaro Valley by facilitating an on-going collaborative process for planning, informing and serving as a resource for community decision-making
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   Environmental Justice for Water Coalition - click here to visit the organization website
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City


City of Gilroy

Located in South Santa Clara County, the City of Gilroy provides water service to residences and businesses. Gilroy is a South County Regional Wastewater Authority (SCRWA) Partner which provides wastewater service for the Cities of Gilroy and Morgan Hill.
Learn more »

  City of Gilroy - click here to visit the organization website

City of Hollister

The City of Hollister is a major urban service area in San Benito County. The City of Hollister provides various municipal and industrial (M&I) services include wastewater collection and treatment and water supply service.
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  City of Hollister - click here to visit the organization website

City of Morgan Hill

Located in South Santa Clara County, the City of Morgan Hill provides water service to residences and businesses. Morgan Hill is a SCRWA Partner that provides wastewater service for the Cities of Morgan Hill and Gilroy.
Learn more »

  City of Morgan Hill - click here to visit the organization website

City of San Juan Bautista

Located in San Benito County, the City of San Juan Bautista provides wastewater and water services. San Juan Bautista is a member of the Water Resource Association of San Benito County.
Learn more »

  City of San Juan Bautista - click here to visit the organization website

City of Watsonville

The City of Watsonville is a major urban service area within PVWMA. The City provides various M&I services including wastewater collection and treatment and water supply service. Learn more »

  City of Watsonville - click here to visit the organization website
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County


San Benito County

The County of San Benito is a government agency with land use jurisdiction within its boundaries. A significant portion of the upper Pajaro River watershed (including the San Benito River) is within San Benito County.
Learn more »

  San Benito County - click here to visit the organization website

Santa Clara County

The mission of the County of Santa Clara is to plan for the needs of a dynamic community, provide quality services, and promote a healthy, safe and prosperous community for all.
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  Santa Clara County Government - click here to visit the organization website

Monterey County

The County of Monterey is a government agency with land use jurisdiction within its boundaries. The County also manages water and sanitation systems in unincorporated County Service Areas. The southern portion of the PVWMA service area is in Monterey County. Learn more »

 

 

  Monterey County - click here to visit the organization website

Santa Cruz County

The County of Santa Cruz is a government agency with land use jurisdiction within its boundaries. The County of Santa Cruz also has jurisdiction over stormwater, drainage, watershed management, water resources management and water quality protection for the unincorporated areas of Santa Cruz County.
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  Santa Cruz County - click here to visit the organization website
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State


State Water Resources Control Board

The Water Quality Control Board's mission is to preserve, enhance and restore the quality of California's water resources, and ensure their proper allocation and efficient use for the benefit of present and future generations.
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  Regional Water Quality Control Board - click here to visit the organization website
 

Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board (RWQCB)

The Central Coast RWQCB is one of 9 Regional Water Boards in California. Regional boards coordinate with the State Water Board to oversee the allocation of water resources to various entities and for diverse uses, from agricultural irrigation to hydro electrical power generation to municipal water supplies.
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   Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board (RWQCB) - click here to visit the organization website

California Department of Fish and Game

The Department of Fish and Game manages and protects the state's diverse fish, wildlife, plant resources, and native habitats.
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   California Department of Fish and Game - click here to visit the organization website
 

California Department of Water Resources

The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) manages state-owned water infrastructure, such as dams, reservoirs and aqueduct.
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   California Dept of Water Resources - click here to visit the organization website
 

Coastal Commission

The goal of the Coastal Commission is to protect, conserve, restore, and enhance the environment of the California coastline
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   Coastal Commission - click here to visit the organization website
 

State Coastal Conservancy

The Coastal Conservancy acts with others to preserve, protect and restore the resources of the California Coast.
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   State Coastal Conservancy - click here to visit the organization website

California Department of Conservation

The Department of Conservation provides services and information that promote environmental health, economic vitality, informed land-use decisions and sound management of our state's natural resources.
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Special District



 

Natural Resource Conservation Service

NRCS's natural resources conservation programs help people reduce soil erosion, enhance water supplies, improve water quality, increase wildlife habitat, and reduce damages caused by floods and other natural disasters. Public benefits include enhanced natural resources that help sustain agricultural productivity and environmental quality while supporting continued economic development, recreation, and scenic beauty.
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  Natural Resource Conservation Service - click here to visit the organization website
 

Resource Conservation District

California RCDs are special districts organized under the state Public Resources Code, Division 9. The RCDs in the Pajaro Watershed are the Santa Cruz RCD, Monterey County RCD, San Benito RCD and Loma Prieta RCD.  Each district has a locally elected or appointed volunteer board of directors made up of landowners in that district.  Interests of the RCDs which relate to water management include water quality, wildlife habitat restoration, soil erosion control, and conservation education.
Learn more »

   
 

Monterey County Water Resources Agency (MCWRA)

MCWRA is a special district formed to manage, protect, and enhance the quantity and quality of water and provide specified flood control services for Monterey County, and to be a leader in efficient, innovative, and equitable water resources management for the County.  As a County water agency and stakeholder, MCWRA has an interest in flood prevention and water supply management of the lower Pajaro River that falls within its jurisdiction.
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   Monterey County Water Resources Agency (MCWRA) - click here to visit the organization website
 

Central Coast Resource Conservation and Development Council, Inc.

The Central Coast Resource Conservation & Development Council serves South Santa Clara, San Benito, Santa Cruz, Monterey, San Luis Obispo, and Santa Barbara Counties.  The council’s activities focus on agritourism, steelhead habitat enhancement, water quality education, coordinated resource management and planning (CRMP) coordination and permit streamlining.
Learn more »

 

 

   Central Coast Resource Conservation and Development Council, Inc. - click here to visit the organization website
 

Association of Monterey Bay Area Governments (AMBAG)

AMBAG was organized for the permanent establishment of a forum for planning, discussion and study of regional problems of mutual interest and concern to the counties and cities in Monterey, San Benito, and Santa Cruz Counties; and for the development of studies, plans, policies and action recommendations.
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   Association of Monterey Bay Area Governments (AMBAG) - click here to visit the organization website
 

Pajaro River Watershed FPA (Flood Protection Authority)

PRWFPA was established in 2000 by the State of California Assembly Bill 807 to identify, evaluate, fund, and implement flood prevention and control strategies in the Pajaro River watershed, on an intergovernmental basis. Since the Pajaro River watershed covers an area within four counties (Santa Clara, San Benito, Santa Cruz, and Monterey) and four water districts (Santa Clara Valley Water District; San Benito County Water District; Santa Cruz County Flood Control and Water Conservation District, Zone 7; and Monterey County Water Resources Agency), the PRWFPA is comprised of one representative from each of the eight interested agencies.The PRWFPA is a governing body through which each member organization can participate and contribute to finding a method to provide flood protection in the watershed and promote general watershed interests. A further goal is to identify and prioritize strategies and projects that will provide multiple benefits, such as water supply, groundwater recharge, or environmental restoration and protection benefits.
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   Pajaro River Watershed FPA (Flood Protection Authority) - click here to visit the organization website
 

South County Regional Wastewater Authority (SCRWA)

South County Regional Wastewater Authority is the regional wastewater authority for South Santa Clara County, primarily serving the Cities of Gilroy and Morgan Hill. SCRWA has partnered with the Santa Clara Valley Water District to expand water recycling in southern Santa Clara County.
Learn more »

   
 

Water Resources Association of San Benito County

The Water Resources Association is a locally-based agency focused on water resource management. Representing the City of Hollister, the City of San Juan Bautista, Sunnyslope County Water District and the San Benito County Water District.
Learn more »
   Water Resources Association of San Benito County - click here to visit the organization website
 

Aromas Water District

Aromas Water District is located on the westerly edge of the PVWMA service area.  This special district provides water treatment and supply service for approximately 750 customers.
Learn more »

   Aromas Water District - click here to visit the organization website
 

Pajaro Valley Water Management Agency

PVWMA is a state-chartered special purpose district formed under State Law pursuant to the Pajaro Valley Water Management Agency Act.  PVWMA was formed to efficiently and economically manage existing and supplemental water supplies in order to prevent further increase in, and to accomplish continuing reduction of, long-term overdraft and to provide and ensure sufficient water supplies for present and anticipated needs within its boundaries. PVWMA has the authority to adopt ordinances for the purpose of conserving local groundwater supplies that all public and private water purveyors within the Agency’s boundaries must adhere to.  The PVWMA service area is comprised of portions of three counties, which are Santa Cruz, Monterey, and San Benito Counties.
Learn more »

   Pajaro Valley Water Management Agency - click here to visit the organization website
 

Pajaro/Sunny Mesa Community Services District

Pajaro/Sunny Mesa Community Services District is a water supplier for smaller communities in the Pajaro Valley and has consolidated water delivery service for a number of mutual water companies in northern Monterey County.
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   Pajaro/Sunny Mesa Community Services District - click here to visit the organization website
 

San Benito County Water District (SBCWD)

SBCWD is a special purpose district formed under State Law pursuant to the San Benito County Water District Act. As a water conservation and flood control district, the SBCWD mission is to preserve the economic and environmental wealth and well-being of San Benito County through the control, management and conservation of waters and the provision of water services in a practical, cost-effective and responsible manner. The SBCWD is a CVP contractor and receives water from the San Felipe Division facilities through the Pacheco and Hollister Conduits.
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   SBCWD
 

Sunnyslope County Water District (SSCWD)

Sunnyslope County Water District is a water and wastewater management district for a portion of the City of Hollister and the Ridgemark Development in San Benito County.
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   Sunnyslope_County_Water_District
 

Santa Clara Valley Water District

SCVWD is a special purpose district formed under State Law pursuant to the Santa Clara Valley Water District Act.  SCVWD provides wholesale water supply, stream and watershed stewardship, and flood protection for Santa Clara County.  In addition, SCVWD manages the County’s groundwater subbasins.  The mission of the SCVWD is a healthy, safe, and enhanced quality of living in Santa Clara County through watershed stewardship and comprehensive management of water resources in a practical, cost-effective, and environmentally-sensitive manner.  SCVWD is a CVP and State Water Project (SWP) contractor and receives water from the San Felipe Division facilities through the Pacheco and Santa Clara Conduits.
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   Santa Clara Valley Water District, Flood - click here to visit the organization website

California Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCo)

The California Association of LAFCos, or CALAFCO, was founded in 1971. LAFCos review proposals for the formation of new local governmental agencies and for changes in the organization of existing agencies.
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   CALAFCO
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Federal


 

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.
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U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is a bureau within the Department of the Interior. Our mission is to work with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people.
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  U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service - click here to visit the organization website
 

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers - San Francisco District

The USACE provides engineering and environmental services throughout the nation. The Corps has plans to implement a flood protection project on the lower Pajaro River.
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   U.S. Army Corps of Engineers - San Francisco District - click here to visit the organization website
 

NOAA, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

NOAA is an agency that enriches life through science. From daily weather forecasts, severe storm warnings and climate monitoring to fisheries management, coastal restoration and supporting marine commerce, NOAA’s products and services support economic vitality and affect more than one-third of America’s gross domestic product. NOAA’s dedicated scientists use cutting-edge research and high-tech instrumentation to provide citizens, planners, emergency managers and other decision makers with reliable information they need when they need it.
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   National Weather Service - Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service (Pajaro R. at Chittenden) - click here to visit the organization website
 

Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS)

The MBNMS mission is to understand and protect the coastal ecosystem of Central California.  The MBNMS is an extension of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Marine Sanctuary Program (NMSP).  The NMSP mission is to serve as the trustee for the nation's system of marine protected areas, to conserve, protect, and enhance their biodiversity, ecological integrity and cultural legacy. Its goals are appropriate to the unique diversity contained within individual sites. They may include restoring and rebuilding marine habitats or ecosystems to their natural condition or monitoring and maintaining already healthy areas.
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   Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS) - click here to visit the organization website

Monterey Bay Sanctuary: Citizen Watershed Monitoring Network

The Monterey Bay Sanctuary Citizen Watershed Monitoring Network is a consortium of approximately twenty citizen monitoring groups that monitor the health of the watersheds flowing into the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. It was established in 1997 and has since provided support, training, and a central forum and database for citizen monitoring programs.
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  Monterey Bay Sanctuary: Citizen Watershed Monitoring Network - click here to visit the organization website
 

Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve

The Elkhorn Slough Foundation and the Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve work together with the community, government agencies and other partners to protect this precious and scarce environment.
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  Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve - click here to visit the organization website
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Education and Research


 

Andy Fisher, Earth and Planetary Science at UCSC

Andy Fisher is a professor of Earth and Planetary Science at UC Santa Cruz. His research is focused on Hydrogeology, Crustal Studies, Heat Flow, and Modeling. Fisher has done extensive work in the Pajaro Valley regarding aquifer overdraft, groundwater recharge and salt water intrusion.
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   Andy Fisher, Earth and Planetary Science at UCSC - click here to visit website
 

Brent Haddad, Environmental Studies at UCSC

Brent Haddad is a professor of Environmental Studies at UC Santa Cruz with an interest in urban and regional water policy and economics.
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   Brent Haddad, Environmental Studies at UCSC - click here to visit website

Watershed Institute – CSUMB

The Watershed Institute consists of a direct action community-based coalition of researchers, restoration ecologists, educators, planners, students, and volunteers. These participants all work to promote and employ a systems approach to the management of watersheds around the world.
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  Watershed Institute – CSUMB - click here to visit the organization website

USGS Real-time Water Data - Pajaro River at Chittenden

USGS Real-Time Water Data provides the discharge and gage height of the Pajaro River at Chittenden. It also provides daily discharge statistics from he past 70 years.
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  USGS Real-time Water Data - Pajaro River at Chittenden - click here to visit the organization website

National Weather Service - Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service (Pajaro River at Chittenden)

The National Weather Service provides current conditions for the Pajaro River at Chittenden.
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  National Weather Service - Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service (Pajaro R. at Chittenden) - click here to visit the organization website
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