Orthorectified historical aerial photography for the lower Laguna de Santa Rosa watershed was developed as a historical reference tool. The historical aerial photography mosaic was used to develop a reconstruction of the historical landscape and prevailing conditions of lower Laguna de Santa Rosa watershed. This dataset was developed to provide information for watershed management, the restoration of habitats, flood protection, and local education and research. More information about the project is available at http://www.sfei.org/LagunadeSantaRosaHE . This data set andother information about the project is also available at http://sonomavegmap.org/
Our projects in the Russian River Watershed help us to understand our past, understand our present, and envision our future. Learn more about what SFEI is doing in partnership with others to advance our scientific understanding of this valuable landscape.
The Laguna de Santa Rosa (Laguna) watershed spans 256 square miles and supports a unique complex of biologically diverse ecosystems. Containing the urban centers of Santa Rosa, Sebastopol, Cotati, Rohnert Park, and Windsor, the Laguna watershed encompasses one of the largest floodplains in California. Historically the Laguna watershed supported a diverse ecosystem consisting of oak savanna/vernal pool complexes, riparian forest, emergent and off channel wetlands, and open water.
This study synthesizes a diverse array of data to examine the ecological patterns, ecosystem functions, and hydrology that characterized a central portion of the Laguna de Santa Rosa during the mid-19th century, and to analyze landscape changes over the past 150 years. The primary purpose of this study was to help guide restoration actions and other measures aimed at reducing nutrient loads within this portion of the Laguna de Santa Rosa watershed.
Over the past century and a half, the hydrology of the Laguna de Santa Rosa watershed has been altered by a variety land use changes, including urbanization, agricultural development, draining and filling of wetlands, and channelization of streams. These changes have impacted the function of the Laguna and Mark West Creek and contributed to a range of contemporary management problems, including habitat degradation, impaired water quality, altered sediment dynamics, salmonid stranding, flooding, and trash accumulation.