1390 N. McDowell Blvd. Suite G 306 Petaluma, CA 94954



About Us

The O.W.L. Foundation is a California nonprofit public benefit corporation, a 501(C)3, EIN 91-2192038, dedicated to defending Sonoma County’s most critical resources: Open space, Water resource protection and Land Use.

O.W.L. is a founding member of the Sonoma County Water Coalition and supports projects of the Sebastopol Water Information Group (SWiG); Friends of Shollenberger Park; the Petaluma River Council; Costal Hills Rural Preservation (CHRP), and the Watertrough Children's Alliance (WCA).

 O.W.L. was a strong backer of the successful campaign to add a Water Resource Element (WRE) to Sonoma County’s General Plan Update 2020. In addition, an O.W.L. board member sat on the advisory panels that formulated Groundwater Management Plans for Sonoma Valley in 2007, and the Santa Rosa Plain in 2014.

O.W.L. co-sponsored and helped organize numerous public water-education forums, produced videos of forum presentations and made them available on DVD. The O.W.L. Foundation further disseminates information about water supply and water quality issues in print and through broadcast interviews.

Most recently, O.W.L. served as the financial manager of a project funding peer reviews of a 550-page report from the inaugural Russian River Independent Science Review Panel (ISRP). This panel, organized in 2012, was the first project to assemble and evaluate the available scientific data on the Russian River water supply for aquatic ecosystems. The Sonoma County Water Agency; Russian River Water Conservation Council; Mendocino County Flood Control and Water Conservation District; and the California Land Stewardship Institute funded the ISRP’s work. An O.W.L. Board member obtained funding for the peer review project from the Oakland-based Rose Foundation, O.W.L.’s Treasurer managed disbursements, and the Sonoma County Water Coalition served as project manager for a successful conclusion to a very productive private-public partnership.

Contact us with project ideas, fundraising strategies, or to make tax-deductible donations. The O.W.L. Foundation is an all-volunteer organization.



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Board of Directors

President, HR Downs

Treasurer, Heidi-Diffenbach-Carle, PE

Secretary, Jane Nielson, PG, Ph.D.

Bonnie Kneibler, M.D.

Joan Cooper