… the county’s Wildlife Conservation Commission is privileged to distribute grant money to organizations that contribute to improving our local environmental conditions and to educating everyone on the importance of the related issues. Money comes to the commission as a result of Fish and Wildlife violation-related fines, occasional fines leveled by our courts for environmental-related landowner violations, and periodic additional funding from the county’s general fund.
Friends of the Napa River is one of the six groups to whom money was recently granted.
Napa’s popular Oxbow area is looking cleaner after a couple dozen volunteers descended on it Thursday morning to pick up trash. Waterways Keepers, a coalition of local groups that holds various trash cleanup events, had struck again. It advertised the Oxbow event as the first for this particular area, with more to come. But why meet on a Thursday at 8 a.m., instead of on a weekend when more volunteers might show up?
“Some of the businesses of the Oxbow District requested we host a cleanup for their employees and the community,” said Shari Gardner of Friends of the Napa River. “Most of these businesses are slammed on the weekend, so this is a good day for them.”
Shari Gardner, executive director of Friends of the Napa River, joins more than 20 other people who kayaked or paddleboarded their way upriver to the new Jim Hench Memorial Kayak Launch, near the First Street bridge in downtown Napa. More than 80 spectators attended a dedication ceremony Sunday morning to honor Hench, the advocate for the Napa River’s beautification and flood protection who died in 2014 at age 85. Speakers including Mayor Jill Techel, Napa County Supervisor Brad Wagenknecht, and Hench’s allies Bernhard Krevet and Moira Johnston Block shared their memories of the Friends of the Napa River co-founder, who campaigned for the Napa River flood control project and wider access to water recreation.
Whether the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will consider Napa County’s pitch for another $76 million for Napa flood protection remains the $100,000 question. Local leaders continue pressing to keep the Napa flood bypass – scheduled to be completed in mid-July – from being the finale of the city’s flood control project, approved by voters in 1998.