Earthwatch researchers collected data to help encourage sustainable agriculture in Northern California’s wine country.
Exploring the rivers that protect Northern California’s world-renowned wine region, volunteers helped collect data to help protect some the most valuable agricultural land in all of North America. The Napa, Russian, and Navarro rivers and Sonoma Creek define the landscape where grape farmers use these waterways to produce the high-end wines the region is famous for, and iconic fish species like steelhead trout and Coho salmon utilize the area for breeding. How can nature and people coexist in this beautiful, productive, and threatened landscape? We helped collect data necessary for answering these questions.
This region serves as a critical habitat for migratory birds, butterflies, and a wide variety of native plant and animal species. Scientists are still learning how these species coexist with the resource needs of the growing human population. Vineyard owners, nonprofit organizations, and local governments are working alongside scientists to ensure that California’s rivers continue to simultaneously support its local agriculture and its natural habitat.
Those engaged in this research experienced what it was like to work in a “living laboratory” where research findings provided guidance for sustainable management of California’s ecosystems and water resources.