Summary of Sonoma SASS Work
Sonoma SASS’s work has resulted in multiple bans on pesticide (herbicides, insecticides, rodenticides, etc) use on publicly owned land throughout Sonoma County. In fact, the majority of parks in Sonoma County are now managed completely toxic-free! We successfully advocated for policies banning the use of synthetic pesticides with the County of Sonoma, Santa Rosa City School District (25 school campuses), and the cities/towns of Santa Rosa, Windsor, Cotati, and Rohnert Park. We are actively working with Petaluma.
We engage in community research and are one of three principal investigators of the GRAton PEsticides (GRAPE) Research Project in partnership with University of California, San Francisco and Californians for Pesticide Reform and funded by the California Breast Cancer Research Program. We are studying groundwater and air contamination due to pesticides in Graton, CA.
Sonoma SASS doesn’t just focus on eliminating and researching toxics, we also promote model solutions like organic, regenerative, “climate smart” land stewardship to increase carbon sequestration, reduce erosion, and decrease accidental toxics exposure for people, wildlife, and the environment. One way we do this is through our new project: Community Grazing Cooperatives for Healthy, Fire-Safe, and Climate Smart Land Stewardship. Learn more about this unique and innovative project here.
Sonoma SASS Wins ‘Local Heroes’ Award!
- Sonoma SASS Wins ‘Local Heroes’ Award! Co-Director Nichole Warwick accepts LocalHeroes Award at the 2020 Sonoma County Conservation Action (SCCA) Virtual Gala
- Awarded Research Grant from California Breast Cancer Research Program and Regents of the University of California to study groundwater and ambient air pollution from pesticides in the town of Graton, CA. The GRAton PEsticides (GRAPE) Research Project is a collaborative research project with UC San Francisco, Californians for Pesticide Reform, the United States Geological Survey, and Breast Cancer Action. SASS Co-Director Nichole Warwick is one of three Principal Researchers.
- Citizen Science & Community Research: Sonoma SASS partnered with Graton Against Synthetic Pesticides (GASP) and Pesticide Action Network (PAN) to do a drift catcher study to better understand pesticide drift in Graton communities.
- Toxic Free Schools: Sonoma SASS continues to work with communities and school districts to protect children from pesticide exposure. We have become an unofficial watchdog for violations of the California Healthy Schools Act of 2018, regarding Pesticide Use Near Schoolsites. We provide education, resources, and toolkits to families and schools so they understand their rights and to support policies that keep pesticides and pesticide drift away from children.
- Healthy Watershed: Based on the results of a March 2018 pilot study of the California State Water Board’s Surface Water Ambient Monitoring Program to monitor constituents of emerging concern in the Russian River watershed which pointed to a need to address both urban and agricultural chemical use, we have concentrated efforts on the Russian River watershed. With continued funding from the Rose Foundation, we continue our education and outreach about the environmental and human health impacts of synthetic pesticides in our watersheds throughout Sonoma County and model alternatives to pesticides use. We also provided testimony for the California Coastal Plan to ban synthetic pesticides throughout the Sonoma County coastal zone.
- Toxic Free Cities and Counties: Rohnert Park officially banned the use of all synthetic pesticides in public parks, joining Santa Rosa, Windsor, Sonoma, Cotati, and Sebastopol. We are currently working to ban pesticides in Petaluma. We developed a toolkit for supporting policy changes in other communities and have provided advisory support and testimony to the town of St. Helena in Napa County and to tribal members on the Pine Ridge Reservation in North Dakota.
- State Policy Engagement: SASS works within a state-wide policy group with CPR and PAN and many grassroots community organizations from throughout CA, to advocate for pesticides restrictions and notice of intent to spray restricted pesticides with the California Department of Pesticide Regulation.
- Models and Solutions: Launch of Community Grazing Cooperatives for Healthy, Fire-Safe, and Climate Smart Land Stewardship Project in West Sonoma County.