Estero Americano Dairy Enhancement Program
Phase I & II

Funded by the State Coastal Conservancy,
the State Water Resources Control Board and
USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service

New publication
February, 2011
Nutrient Management Planning Guidance for Small Coastal Dairies
Nutrient Management
Planning Guidance
for Small Coastal Dairies
The 2002 California Water Quality Assessment Report published by the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) listed 199 acres of the Estero Americano and 38 miles of Americano Creek as impaired water bodies. Nutrients were identified as the pollutant causing impairment in both water bodies. An additional 199 acres of the estero are impaired due to sedimentation / siltation.

The main goal of the first phase of this project was to assist dairy operators in the Estero Americano watershed reach full compliance with current and future water quality standards, and to significantly reduce nutrient pollution entering the estuary and its tributaries. To meet this goal, the project accomplished two main objectives:

  • Bolster involvement in the California Dairy Quality Assurance Program (CDQAP) certification process and to reduce nutrient loading by funding priority infrastructure improvements on dairies that are certified or actively working towards CDQAP certification.

  • Facilitate the adoption of on-farm nutrient management planning and practices, including nutrient budgeting, soil, vegetation, and manure sampling, and a land application tracking system.

Estero Americano Dairy Enhancement Program The water quality benefits from the project included reductions in the amount of animal waste runoff leaving dairy facilities and farm fields through enhanced nutrient management planning and practices, and through infrastructure improvements which divert stormwater runoff from manured areas and through better collection and containment of animal waste.

Phase II of the Estero Americano Dairy Enhancement Program funded improved manure management practices, and the adoption of pasture management practices that promote soil fertility, forage productivity and water quality protection such as riparian pasture fencing and revegetation, off-channel water development, cross-fencing, manure composting facilities, and the purchase and installation of manure transfer and distribution equipment the will allow operators greater control over the timing and rate of manure application to farm fields. The program also funded conservation planning assistance for each operator enrolled in the program.

Estero Americano Dairy Enhancement Program map
[click to enlarge]

Gold Ridge Resource Conservation District
2776 Sullivan Rd., Sebastopol, CA 95472
phone: (707) 823-5244   |   fax: (707) 823-5243
email: brittany@goldridgercd.org

many thanks to the Sonoma County Water Agency for funding the development of this website