Results of Sacramento Watershed Monitoring are Released

Jul 29, 2004

For immediate release

(Sacramento, CA) The latest scientific information about the quality of the Sacramento River watershed is the subject of a report issued by the Sacramento River Watershed Program (SRWP) this month. This monitoring continues to show overall good water quality in the Sacramento River. The report finds that the main stem of the Sacramento River and its major tributaries meet most standards for the protection of aquatic life and drinking water uses, but mercury levels in fish and pesticides in urban and agricultural runoff remain a concern.

The fifth annual Water Quality Monitoring Report provides an important regional look at water quality issues in the Sacramento River Basin. The report indicates that human health concerns exist for the consumption of some fish species due to mercury accumulation from the main stem Sacramento River below Shasta Reservoir, and from some major tributaries to this section of the river. These risks are greatest for small children and pregnant women, and increase with greater consumption of fish. The Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) provides general consumption guidelines on their web page (www.oehha.ca.gov).

The report also recommends that further monitoring is needed for both urban and agricultural use of pesticides. A portion of these data should result, the report notes, from the upcoming monitoring efforts by agricultural coalition groups throughout the Central Valley.

The fifth SRWP Annual Monitoring Report presents data generated during 1997-2003 by the SRWP and from various periods for programs coordinating with the SRWP. The Report can be viewed on the SRWP web site at: www.sacriver.org

The Sacramento River Watershed Program, which has now been established as a not-for-profit public benefit organization, was initiated in February of 1996 to provide a forum to ensure that Sacramento River watershed resources are sustained, restored, and where possible, enhanced, while promoting the long-term social and economic vitality of the region. The SRWP consists of citizens, watershed organizations, environmental groups, farmers, ranchers, foresters, business groups, educators and government agencies at all levels.

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