Reach 14 prior to restoration efforts
Construction underway to expand the banks of the Napa River and provide new habitat for fish, birds and wildlife.
Restored river bank along Reach 14
Reach 9 before restoration
Reach 9 after restoration. Water slows down with expanded area, eliminating incision.
Davie Piña described going before the Coastal Conservancy to request funding: “When we told them we had self-funded the restoration plan, had every single landowner onboard, a partnership with the Napa Resource Conservation District and the County and more than half of the $20 million raised in matching funds, they were floored. People told us it might take 20 years to break ground. We did it in seven.”
The plan was built from the inside out, with landowners like John Williams of Frog’s Leap, Piña and other Rutherford Dust Society leaders building relationships and trust with all the landowners.
In the late 1990s, berm and levee wars were getting litigious and landowners knew building the river banks higher were just ‘staying away from the river.’ Williams recalled looking at breached berms and eroding and collapsed banks, thinking, “If we tackled these different problems together we might have a better chance.”
The Napa Resource Conservation District (RCD) came to the Rutherford Dust Society and proposed a partnership. Many landowners needed to make expensive and time-consuming repairs. By collaborating, they could see benefits, like getting grants and sharing costs. Initially, each landowner contributed based on the length of their river frontage to privately fund a restoration engineering study. Once complete, a public-private partnership with the RCD was formed, called Rutherford Dust Restoration Team (RDRT), and began restoring and managing the Napa River from Rutherford to Oak Knoll.
Rutherford Reach wineries certified Napa Green Land and/or Napa Green Winery:
Oakville to Oak Knoll – Building on the Success of the Rutherford Reach | The 9.5 mile Oakville to Oak Knoll (OVOK) Napa River restoration project flows immediately south of the Rutherford Reach restoration.
Napa River Restoration Part II: Along the Upper Napa River | The California Land Stewardship Institute (CLSI) is working with landowners on a restoration plan for a 5.3 mile stretch of the upper Napa River just downstream from Calistoga.