OAEC supports diverse communities to design their own regenerative systems at the regional and local scale.
Our cookbook is a collection of inventive recipes inspired by seasonal eating from our biodiverse Mother Garden, orchards and Wildlands Preserve.
Experience the Occidental Arts & Ecology Center through a video tour and beautiful photographs of our Guest Houses, Meeting Room, Bathhouse, Kitchen & Dining Room, Mother Garden and more.
New in 2017: Now open every weekend April-October, Saturdays & Sundays from 10am-5pm! Our nursery specializes in open-pollinated perennials including edible landscaping plants, rare and endangered food crops, drought tolerant ornamentals and habitat plants. Join us for our three special Plant Sale Events focused on annual plants for starting your seasonal vegetable gardens.
OAEC offers the longest consistently running two-week Permaculture Design Certification course in the West. Immerse yourself in information, ideas and inspiration on how to design sustainable, regenerative systems in balance with your home ecosystem.
Our School Garden Teacher Training supports schools to integrate the school garden into multiple subject areas using place-based, experiential learning.
The WATER Institute is a founding member of the Salmon Creek Water Conservation Program which has been working in the Salmon Creek watershed to educate residents, landowners and citizen activists about watershed conservation since 2000. Learn more about the Salmon Creek Watershed.
The Salmon Creek Water Conservation Program was developed out of the recognized need to increase dry season instream flows. Successive years of drought and increased water demand pressures are taking a toll on the creeks and on the watershed’s ability to supply sufficient, high quality water. Juvenile salmon and steelhead trout need cold, flowing water to survive the summer. Many stretches of our creeks are going dry and the fish are dying
Groundwater sources are often inadequate and existing wells are losing production. Surface water sources are in limited supply and require water rights permits for use. Residents of the watershed need reliable, safe, and sustainable water supplies for homes, gardens, livestock and businesses. To support the needs of both the fish and the human residents of the Salmon Creek watershed, Program efforts are directed toward:
The Program has begun with a number of local organizations, funded by state and federal agencies, developing the following:
Water Conservation Plan (produced by Occidental Arts and Ecology Center’s WATER Institute, Prunuske Chatham Inc., and Virginia Porter)
This document summarizes the Salmon Creek Water Conservation Program. It contains background information, recommendations, and tools developed to conserve water, improve existing water sources, and develop new storage-based sources, while protecting and increasing instream flows. Download the entire Salmon Creek Water Conservation Plan PDF, or for specific pieces of the Plan, see below.
Description of water demands in the Salmon Creek watershed that compares rural residential use, agriculture production, and community systems and provides an overview of groundwater and surface water supplies, their use, and their limitations. Download the Water Consumption Analysis PDF Here.
These maps were generated as part of our Water Conservation Plan and can be viewed or downloaded separately by clicking on them below (available in jpg and pdf formats). For more detailed descriptions of these maps download and read the entire plan above.
Tools for landowners and local communities to increase water conservation and reduce summer demands on groundwater and instream flow. Each strategy includes a brief summary of the topic, discussion of the target community, an assessment of the effect of implementation, a section describing “how to implement,” and numerous tools and resources to facilitate implementation.
Feel free to download these and use them in your community.
A demonstration project to show how alternative water supply approaches, paired with community water system efficiency improvements, can reduce demand on instream flows and improve habitat for salmonids. Read a description of the Bodega Planning Project, and see below for related implementation projects.
A list and description of recommended actions for restoring summer streamflows and ensuring sufficient, secure water supplies for Salmon Creek residents.
Success of the Program requires implementation of widespread water conservation efforts, as well as projects focused on reducing water extractions in critical areas. On-the-ground implementation projects include developing alternative water sources and recharging groundwater. The following are current implementation projects in the watershed:
The Salmon Creek Water Conservation Program (SCWCP) is a multi-year, multi-stakeholder effort focused on developing alternative water supply solutions that support human needs while protecting and restoring instream flows for fish and wildlife (2010).