Salinas River Symposium: Program and Presentations

Reconnecting the River



Speakers from the University of California Cooperative Extension, Grower-Shipper Association of Central California, Sacramento Regional County Sanitation District, The Nature Conservancy, Monterey County Resource Conservation District, and California State University, Fresno addressed a variety of subjects related to the Salinas River from the effect of drought and climate change to sustaining livestock production.

Welcome and introductions

By Michael Jenks, Esq., Adjunct Instructor, Cal Poly State University, San Luis Obispo


Master of Ceremonies and Moderator

By Douglas Piirto, B.S. Forestry, M.S. Forest and Wood Science, Ph.D. Wood Science

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Overview of the Salinas River Watershed

Overview of rangelands, oak woodlands, and wildlife in the Salinas River watershed. Discussion of Central Coast livestock industry and local ranchers’ commitment to protecting the watersheds they live in.

Presented by Royce Larson, B.S. Watershed Science, M.S. and Ph.D. Rangeland Resources – University of California Cooperative Extension Area Watershed / Natural Resource Advisor on the California Central Coast

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Microbial Water Quality and Produce Safety

Review of research on pathogens being shed by livestock and wildlife in the Salinas River region and implications for microbial water quality and produce safety.

Presented by Rob Atwill, D.V.M., M.P.V.M., Ph.D. Infectious Disease Epidemiology – Director, Veterinary Medicine Extension, University of California, Davis

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Sustaining Livestock Production and Clean Water on Rangeland Watersheds

Presentation of applied research on water quality dynamics associated with livestock production on California’s rangelands with focus on microbial water quality. Discussion of management practices and strategies to minimize surface water microbial and nutrient pollution on working rangelands.

Presented by Ken Tate, B.S. and M.S. Rangeland Ecology, Ph.D. Water Resources – Rustic Rangeland Watershed Specialist, University of California, Davis

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Central Coast Steelhead Trout in the Salinas River Basin: Responses to Drought and Prospects with Climate Change

Presentation of natural history, climate change, and conservation efforts related to south-central California Coast steelhead trout with a focus on the upper Salinas River watershed.

Presented by Lisa Thompson, B.S. Zoology, M.S. Biology, Ph.D. Zoology – Chief Scientist with Regional San

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Where History and Technology Meet: The Waterway Geo-Portal

Introduction to Waterways, a venture in geodynamic technology at Cal State University, Fresno, which allows users to perform four-dimensional research in history, statistics, and analysis backwards and forwards through time.

Presented by Peter McDonald, B.A. English, M.S. Library and Information Science – Dean of California State University, Fresno Library

To view the 5 minute demonstration of Waterways shown by Dr. McDonald at the Symposium, click the button and enter the password madden2013.

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Streamflow and Sediment Composition and Ecosystem Functions

Overview of studies carried out for river reaches in California, including the Salinas River that analyze streamflow and sediment composition, as well as their interaction to support aquatic ecosystems.

Presented by Samuel Sandoval Solis, B.S. Civil Engineering, M.S. Hydraulics, Ph.D. Environmental and Water Resource Engineering – University of California, Davis

Panel Discussion: Managing the Salinas River Floodplain

Abby Taylor-SilvaPaul RobinsAbby headshot

Presentation of Stream Maintenance Program designed to reduce flood risk while protecting sensitive riparian habitat and enhancing cooperation between landowners, the agriculture industry, agencies and non-profits. Discussion of results and insights gained from a demonstration project completed along a 12-mile stretch of the Salinas River, from Chualar to Gonzales, by The Nature Conservancy, Monterey County RCD, Grower-Shipper Association and Monterey County Water Resources Agency.

Panel discussion with Abby Taylor-Silva, Vice President of Policy and Communications, Grower-Shipper Association; Paul Robins, Executive Director, Resource Conservation District of Monterey County; Abigail Hart, Salinas Agriculture Project Director, The Nature Conservancy

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Break Out Group Brainstorming Session

During the break out session, presenters and attendees worked in small groups to discuss issues such as biological resources, economic drivers, social issues, technology, data sharing, hydrology, and agency collaboration.