Officials from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Sonoma County Water Agency, along with Don Wallace and Dry Creek Vineyard, have signed a first ever agreement assuring continued habitat enhancement and environmental protection of endangered salmon and steelhead along the famed Russian River tributary, Dry Creek. Located directly behind the winery is an enhanced habitat area, the first mile of six that is to be transformed through what is known as the Dry Creek Habitat Enhancement Project. Designed to provide a positive environment for endangered fish species, as well as erosion control, this project is a private/public partnership and has been deemed one of the first of its kind.
As an early supporter of the Dry Creek Habitat Enhancement Project, Don Wallace was fully committed. “My goal at the beginning of my tenure with our family winery has, and continues to be, to leave our land in better condition than which we found it. The salmon in Dry Creek Valley are a crucial measure to the health and vitality of our ecosystem. The Safe Harbor Agreement recognizes the stewardship role played by farmers in helping salmon recovery and provides an incentive to other landowners to participate in restoration efforts while responsibly farming.”
Dry Creek Vineyard’s commitment to sustainability is not new. For decades, we have engaged in environmentally friendly farming practices such as growing cover crops and deficit irrigation to installing bat houses, raptor perches and bee boxes. Solar energy, water conservation, waste conversion and lighting efficiencies have furthered our sustainability efforts. Our leadership in the restoration and protection of endangered fish species along the Dry Creek is just another extension of our commitment to the environment.
In 2015, Dry Creek Vineyard became a 100% Certified Sustainable Winery for both its business practices and vineyards.