Posted on January 23, 2014 By manishie

Fundraising Letter


When the parents of 700 children discovered that a large-scale Paul Hobbs Winery vineyard was planned for a site just feet away from the five schools their children attend, they decided to take a stand to protect the children from exposure to pesticides that could drift onto the playgrounds.  They joined to form the Watertrough Children’s Alliance (WCA).

After months of unanswered pleas for real environmental review, including the effect of pesticide use on school children attending school next to the vineyard development, the WCA is bringing a lawsuit against the County of Sonoma.

Currently, big business wine companies receive carte blanche in Sonoma County if they propose to convert cropland to vineyards: The County requires NO MEANINGFUL ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW UNDER THE CALIFORNIA ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY ACT (CEQA).* Sadly, without this level of review, the potential health impacts of pesticide use on neighboring properties, including schools, are not considered or addressed.**

It’s time to mandate that Sonoma County comply with this important California law when permitting vineyard developments.

We envision a vibrant agricultural community in Sonoma County, where local diverse agriculture and sensitive viticulture practice can thrive alongside our families, visitors, forests, and watersheds. We can be an example that inspires new paradigms of healthy ecological integrity.

HELP US protect the environment and our children’s health by compelling the County to follow existing state law and provide meaningful environmental review of new vineyard developments.

Take this moment NOW to commit to that future for all of us. We need your help to continue this important work – please join us in this commitment with an offering of generosity.


Donate Online:
Or send checks to:O.W.L. Foundation, for WCA1390 N. McDowell Blvd. Suite G 306, Petaluma, CA 94954

*CEQA is a thoughtfully crafted state law designed to protect the environment by requiring public agencies to identify and then avoid or mitigate any significant environmental effects of a proposed project.  **According to the California Department of Pesticide Regulations 2011 Annual Report, 2,357,779 pounds of pesticides, fungicides, herbicides, and rodenticides were applied in vineyards in Sonoma County in 2011.