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June 26, 2022

Memorial Beach won’t get its summer dam this year

Sonoma County Regional Parks announced last week that it wouldn’t be installing the annual summer dam at the Healdsburg Veterans Memorial Beach. The primary reasons for not installing the summer dam include projections of reduced river flow and concerns about how to install the dam while following social distancing guidelines.
According to an announcement from Sonoma County Regional Parks, water managers are anticipating that river flow will be about two-thirds below what it usually is. With the reduced river flow, there’s an increased need to preserve water storage for Lake Mendocino in order to support the fish habitat as the season progresses.
While the installation of the dam allows for the creation of a swimming area during summer months, the COVID-19 pandemic is making it so the beach won’t have the same amount of lifeguard watch as it usually has.
“In most summers, the county installs a temporary dam at the beach, just downstream from Healdsburg’s Memorial Bridge, creating a swimming area from late June through early September. Due to the health emergency, Regional Parks does not have the seasonal staff to fully lifeguard the beach and enforce new social distancing and hygiene requirements,” the announcement states. “The beach will remain open without the dam and full-time lifeguards, with river conditions suitable for wading and more shoreline for visitors to spread out for sunbathing and picnicking. Roving lifeguard patrols will visit Memorial Beach and other river parks beginning in July.”