SANTA ROSA, CA (May 12, 2021) – As the summer travel season approaches, Sonoma County Tourism (SCT) is working with local organizations to ensure both visitors and the natural environment are protected.   

To help ensure visitor safety at the coast, the Sonoma County Tourism board of directors approved an allocation of $75,000 to help fund an ambulance, much needed by the Bodega Bay Fire District, for effective response to emergency rescues and coastal accidents.   

“Living and working in West County, it’s abundantly clear how critical the needs are around emergency services and protection of our neighborhoods, “says Crista Luedtke, owner, Boon Eat + Drink in Guerneville and Sonoma County Tourism board member. “The team at the Bodega Bay Fire District are heroes for both our residents and our visitors and it was critically important to show support for their extraordinary efforts. We want to be part of the solution.”  

“We deeply appreciate the generosity of our friends at SCT and their commitment to the safety of those who visit the Coast,” says Steve Herzberg, assistant chief, Bodega Bay Fire Protection District. “This contribution will help us purchase a new, reliable ambulance, an essential tool to keep us all safe. We also appreciate the partnership as we work to finalize our consolidation with the Sonoma County Fire District, a move that will solidify the safety net on the Coast.”  

To help elevate its efforts toward protecting neighborhoods and natural resources, SCT recently formed a partnership with Sonoma County Regional Parks and Leave No Trace, to help mitigate environmental impacts in area parks, preserves and other outdoor recreation locations. Through a robust annual program, SCT is collaborating with municipalities and locations within unincorporated Sonoma County to inform visitors about ways to travel responsibly.   

“This partnership will help park visitors learn guidelines for recreating responsibly and lessening impacts on local landscapes,” said Sonoma County Regional Parks Director Bert Whitaker. “Our goal is to keep our visitors, communities, lands and waters safe so everyone can enjoy the benefits of nature and the beauty of Sonoma County.”   

Sonoma County’s coastal and river beaches have become increasingly popular destinations for visitors from Sacramento and the Bay Area as well as for locals, a trend that is spiking as more people discover outdoor recreation during the pandemic. Summer day use in Sonoma County’s parks jumped 20 percent in 2020 from the same period in 2019, with a similar pattern expected this year.  

In addition to messaging and outreach, Regional Parks is adding trash, recycling and portable restroom facilities to its river and coastal parks; organizing park stewardship programs with volunteers; expanding roadside signage and parking information; limiting charter bus access and soliciting proposals from potential concessionaires to operate a summer shuttle service to the Russian River.   

As the drought continues to worsen, SCT also is committed to helping hospitality partners with resources for water conservation, while also honing its summer messaging to ensure that visitors understand the dire need to save water in Sonoma County. In collaboration with the Sonoma County Water Agency, SCT is partnering with local chambers and visitor centers to help travelers conserve water throughout their trip.   

“These allocations and programs are critically important, especially this summer,” said Claudia Vecchio, CEO, Sonoma County Tourism. “Destination stewardship means we, as an organization, take a broad-based approach to managing our region. Certainly, marketing is critical, but ensuring safety and protection of our visitors, residents and resources is imperative for the long-term health of our county and its appeal as a tourism destination.”   

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About Sonoma County Tourism:  Sonoma County Tourism is the region’s destination stewardship organization.  Inspiring travel to the region through a variety of sales and marketing programs aimed at consumers, meeting and event planners, the travel trade and media, the organization strives to ensure responsible tourism helps create a robust economy for the Sonoma County region. For more information www.sonomacounty.com.        

 Media Contact:  
Sonoma County Tourism 
Claudia Vecchio 
(707) 327-6334 
[email protected]