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