Client: Resource Conservation District of Santa Cruz County
Waterways was retained by the Resource Conservation District of Santa Cruz County (RCD) to prepare a sediment source analysis and action plan for the recently acquired Geyer Quarry property. The Land Trust of Santa Cruz County purchased the property in 2008 to provide protection to a portion of the unique and delicate Sandhill ecosystem that extends from Bonny Doon through the Scotts Valley area of the Santa Cruz Mountains. Mining activity, road construction, logging, and off‐highway vehicle (OHV) use have exposed steep, denuded hillslopes in many locations throughout the parcel. These sources of erosion have caused excessive sediment delivery to the San Lorenzo River and its key tributaries (in this case Bean Creek and Zayante Creek) resulting in impacts to salmonid habitat.
Client: City of St. Helena
Waterways staff worked with the City of St. Helena and a team of consultants to design, permit, and construct a multi-objective flood control project that provides 100-year flood protection for residential properties along the Napa River, restores important floodplain and aquatic habitat, and improves public access. Specific elements of the project include a geomorphically-based floodplain terrace, shoreline restoration involving removal of an existing gabion and rip-rap bank protection structures and replacement with a natural point bar shoreline configuration, bioengineered bank stabilization structures, FEMA certified levee setbacks and floodwall construction, relocation of homes from the floodplain, and approximately 2,500 ft of pedestrian trails with interpretive signage.
Client: USFS- Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit
Waterways, in coordination with the USFS Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit (LTBMU) and Swanson Hydrology, has developed designs to restore the mainstem and tributaries of Cold Creek in the High Meadow Complex (HMC) near South Lake Tahoe, California. The basic restoration objective is to increase soil moisture within approximately 70 acres of meadow area by modifying the morphology and hydrology of the streams in a manner consistent with natural geomorphic processes. Work involves re-constructing approximately 8,700 linear feet of channel and raising the elevation of the streambeds by 2 to 4 feet. The project will significantly increase the diversity and density of meadow wetland vegetation species and shift some areas from seasonally dry and sparse mesic meadows to wet meadow conditions.
The project’s three-year construction plan was completed in 2012, with Waterways providing on-site supervision.
Client: Truckee River Watershed Council, U.S. Forest Service
High meadow systems within the central Sierra Nevada have been greatly impacted by past land use practices. One important meadow system that is somewhat intact is Perazzo Meadows. Waterways provided assistance to the Truckee River Watershed Council in an evaluation and characterization of the Perazzo Meadow complex and the surrounding watershed. The assessment consisted of a geomorphically-based assessment of Perazzo Meadows within the Little Truckee River watershed. The geomorphic and hydrologic characterization of the meadow system was necessary to provide a framework for planning and design of restoration opportunities. It has been well documented that “process based” restoration projects that consider the geomorphic and hydrologic setting of the watershed have a higher likelihood of being successful. Gaining an understanding of these processes allows for development of feasible restoration approaches that are founded in the physical processes which operate in the meadow system.
Client: US Forest Service
Waterways staff led an interdisciplinary team to assess existing conditions within the Blackwood Creek Watershed. Blackwood Creek is a major tributary to Lake Tahoe, drains a mix of steep volcanic and granitic terrain, has a high bedload transport rate, and was historically impacted by grazing, logging, and instream gravel mining. Key impacts identified during the study were excessive bank erosion and channel widening associated with channel incision and loss of floodplain connectivity and the presence of several fish passage barriers. To restore the physical processes that sustain channel morphology and biological function, an aggressive, long-term restoration strategy was proposed.
Client: Tualatin River Watershed Council (TRWC)
In March of 2003 the TRWC completed work on the Lower Gales Creek Habitat Enhancement Plan. Gales Creek is a major tributary to the Tualatin River in Washington County, Oregon. The Enhancement Plan identified potential restoration projects designed to improve habitat conditions for steelhead and other salmonids. To evaluate the feasibility of implementing potential channel, floodplain, and habitat enhancement projects, TRWC retained the services of Waterways staff to conduct a comprehensive geomorphic assessment of the planning reach and prioritize potential restoration options. The geomorphic assessment and project feasibility study was completed in 2005. Following completion of the study, Waterways has continued to work with the TRWC by preparing construction documents for site specific projects aimed at enhancing channel and floodplain function, improving in-stream and off-channel aquatic and wetland habitat, and restoring riparian areas. Waterways and TRWC has worked closely with landowners and other stakeholders to achieve the identified goals.
Client: City of Santa Cruz- Public Works Department
Waterways performs annual cross section surveys at seventeen permanent monitoring sections established along the San Lorenzo River, from Highway 1 to the river mouth. This project assists the City of Santa Cruz in meeting flood protection requirements and habitat restoration goals by quantifying changes in channel elevation, form, and vegetation cover. The monitoring data is presented in an annual report discussing the geomorphic and hydrologic trends, and providing adaptive management recommendations to the City’s riparian vegetation and sediment management operations.
North Fork John Day Watershed Council
Fox Creek has been identified as an important spawning and rearing tributary to the North Fork of the John Day River in Eastern Oregon. Impacts to the stream and watershed include fish passage barriers associated with passive diversion structures, water withdrawals during the critical low flow summer season, lack of adequate fish screening at water diversion sites, and severe channel incision that was causing reductions in water quality associated with bank erosion and loss of a continuous riparian canopy, loss of functional floodplain habitat, and conversion of productive hay fields to marginal rangeland as water tables declined. These changes were having a noticeable impact on the economic viability of the land and the sustainability of natural ecological processes.
Client: Vail Resorts
Heavenly Mountain Resort in the Lake Tahoe Basin is in the process of updated their Master Plan (MP 05). One component of the update includes identification of potential restoration projects in the Edgewood Creek watershed to improve Stream Environment Zone health and improve water quality.Waterways staff was retained to prepare the Edgewood Watershed Assessment and Enhancement Plan (EWAEP) for the portion of the watershed managed by Heavenly Mountain Resort and to design and implement priority restoration projects identified as part of the assessment. The final EWAEP was submitted in January 2006 and was followed by four restoration designs completed in 2006.
Client: Coastal Watershed Council
The primary objective of this project was to develop a watershed assessment and enhancement plan for the Aptos Creek Watershed with a focus on restoration and enhancement of salmonids spawning and rearing habitat. Aptos Creek is a small coastal drainage located in southern Santa Cruz County. A variety of land uses occur within the watershed including urban, rural residential, orchards, timber harvests, and recreation. A large portion of land is protected within the Forest of Nisene Marks, which is part of the California State Park System.
The Lower Clatskanie Floodplain Restoration Project site is located along the mainstem of the Clatskanie River approximately 2 river miles upstream of the Highway 30 crossing near the City of Clatskanie. The project reach is located where the river transitions from a riverine to a tidal regime, the floodplain widens considerably, and coarse bedload deposition is greatly enhanced. Consequently, the river is very dynamic and the floodplain consists of a mosaic of secondary and tertiary channels that are a result of historic and recent avulsion events associated with high flow, localized sediment deposition, bank failures and landslides, and development of large log jams. Although the site appears to be under the influence of natural physical processes, past land use impacts have led to a degraded riparian corridor dominated by reed canary grass, less frequent side channel connectivity, and a lack of pool scour in floodplain and secondary channels.
Client: County of Santa Cruz Department of Environmental Health
The objectives of this project were to develop a comprehensive plan that identified, through focused research and analysis of existing data, the limiting factors affecting habitat and populations conditions on the San Lorenzo River for steelhead trout and coho salmon. The San Lorenzo River is noted as having the largest run of steelhead south of San Francisco Bay and historically supported populations of coho.
Client: City of Santa Cruz Water Department
A management plan was developed for watershed lands owned by the City of Santa Cruz. The purpose of the plan was to outline long-term management strategies for protection of the quality and quantity of the City’s primary surface water sources. Waterways staff, in conjunction with SH+G, completed the hydrology, geomorphology and fisheries section of the report and developed an overall plan to guide future management activities on the City’s properties. Future management actions included the cessation of commercial logging, specific recommendations to reduce point sources of erosion from roads and road crossings, and a detailed map of future road management including the decommissioning of existing roads. Portions of the Plan have already been implemented by the City of Santa Cruz.
Client: Oregon Parks and Recreation
Waterways Consulting recently completed a restoration plan for Jackson and Netarts Creeks for Oregon Parks and Recreation District at Cape Lookout State Park. The focus of the effort was to evaluate the hydrology, geomorphology, and habitat conditions of Jackson Creek, the principle stream that flows through Cape Lookout. Approximately 60 years ago, a portion of Jackson Creek was diverted to Netarts Bay to increase freshwater flows into Netarts Bay with the hope of improving the commercial oyster beds. Impacts associated with the diversion and associated flow split were addressed in the restoration plan as well as opportunities for enhancement of the Jackson Creek mainstem downstream of the diversion site.
Client: Syar Industries, Inc.
GEOMORPHIC ANALYSIS OF THE MIDDLE REACH OF THE RUSSIAN RIVER
Waterways, in cooperation with Swanson Hydrology and Geomorphology, is in the process of completing a detailed hydraulic, geomorphic and sediment transport analyses for the Russian River’s Middle Reach, near Healdsburg. This work focuses on the effects of in-stream mining and other human activities on channel morphology and flood capacity. A chrono-sequence of topographic surfaces representing the channel and floodplain were analyzed to calculate volumetric changes in channel geometry over the past 20 years. Then, a hydraulic model was constructed along 5 miles of the Russian River to evaluate land use impacts on flood elevations.
Client: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers via HDR, Inc.
Dairy Creek is located approximately 12 miles northwest of Portland, Oregon on Sauvie Island. Dairy Creek is a highly modified channel connecting the Columbia River at river mile (RM) 98.5 to Sturgeon Lake. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), along with local partners, West Multnomah Soil & Water Conservation District (WMSWCD) and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) are interested in evaluating restoration opportunities for Dairy Creek (Sauvie Island) via the Section 1135 of the 2000 Water Resources Development Act. The original intent of the Dairy Creek Restoration Feasibility Study (Study) was to evaluate alternatives to re-establish Dairy Creek as a flushing channel for Sturgeon Lake.
Client: Clean Water Services (CWS), Oregon Department of State Lands (DSL)
Waterways assisted CWS and DSL in the planning and design of a 20 acre mitigation bank in the Tualatin River Watershed to provide wetland, temperature, and salmon credits. In addition to providing purchasable credits, the project simultaneously tested a function-based accounting system developed by the Willamette Partnership’s Counting on the Environment program (http://www.willamettepartnership.org). This program was developed with the help of public, private, and non-profit stakeholders to develop a shared accounting system for quantifying impacts and benefits to ecosystem services for application to ecosystem markets. The Partnership completed a test version for water temperature, wetlands, salmonid habitat, and upland prairie that was applied to pilot projects in the program. Half Mile Lane was one of the pilot projects that tested three of these services, and was the only pilot site thus far that resulted in real-world transactions. Therefore, this project tested not only the ecosystem credit calculator, but also the sequence of developing, selling and buying ecosystem credits.
Client: Sierra Nevada Alliance
The Upper Carson River has been identified as a Category I priority watershed for water quality improvement by the California Unified Watershed Assessment. In response, the Sierra Nevada Alliance, on behalf of the Alpine Watershed Group, initiated preparation of a Stream Corridor Condition Assessment for the Upper Carson River Watershed with funding from the California State Water Resources Control Board. The assessment included a fluvial geomorphic assessment, a survey of conditions in the riparian and floodplain zone, a list of prioritized restoration projects, and a recommended list of management measures. Waterways staff acted as the project team hydrologists and geomorphologists and were the primary project team member in evaluating riparian health and providing restoration project recommendations. The assessment included approximately 66 miles of stream channel within the West Fork Carson River, East Fork Carson River, Wolf Creek, and Markleeville/Hot Springs Creek.
Client: Environmental Stewardship and Planning
The Potrero Hills Landfill is in the process of expanding its facilities. The proposed landfill expansion will encompass 170 acres of land and will impact approximately 3 acres of wetland and pond habitat that serve as breeding habitat for the California Tiger Salamander (CTS). Measures to mitigate impacts to CTS include both habitat conservation and wetland enhancements that focus on key species listed as threatened or endangered under the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA).
Client: United States Forest Service
The Cookhouse Meadow Restoration Project replaced approximately 1600 linear of stream that had incised by 4-6 feet within a meadow setting. The new channel was anticipated to restore a more natural channel morphology and flooding and soil moisture regime throughout the meadow, which is in turn expected to lead to improvements in water quality, vegetation composition, and fish and wildlife habitat. The project used stacked sod, salvaged from distributed areas throughout the adjacent meadow, to construct stable banks that will allow for natural channel evolution and adjustment.
Client: Granite Construction Company
Waterways staff assisted Granite Construction Company with planning, design, and permitting of a proposed off-channel gravel extraction project on the Kunzler Ranch property, located at the confluence of Ackerman Creek and the Russian River, in the Ukiah Valley of Mendocino County. Waterways has conducted hydrologic, hydraulic, and geomorphic analyses to assess flooding impacts, habitat development potential, and channel stability at the proposed project site, under both project-life and reclamation phases.
Client: Town of Truckee
The Town of Truckee has partnered with the Truckee River Watershed Council and Truckee Development Corporation in a multi-objective redevelopment project that seeks to revitalize the downtown and the adjacent rail yard, reduce flood risks for businesses and residents, and improve the natural environment. The focus of this project is restoration of Trout Creek and development of open space that connects residents and visitors of the Truckee area to important natural resources. Waterways is leading a team of consultants tasked with enhancing habitat values and functions of Trout Creek.
Client: American Rivers, Inc. & Placer County Resource Conservation District
Waterways was selected to develop and analyze alternatives for ecological restoration of the Hope Valley Meadow on the West Fork Carson River, with a primary goal of enhancing the full range of ecosystem services this highly visible and well-known meadow provides.
Client: Clackamas County, Water Environment Services
Since 2009, Waterways staff has worked with Clackamas County’s Water Environment Services (WES) on Action Planning and Geomorphic Monitoring efforts in the more urbanized portions of Clackamas County. In 2008 and 2009, Waterways was an integral member of a team of consultants that prepared Watershed Action Plans (WAP) for the Kellogg/Mt. Scott and Rock Creek watersheds. Waterways prepared the hydrologic and geomorphic sections of the Action Plan for each basin and assisted in the development of a subwatershed-scale risk assessment, identification of project priorities, and a tool-based identification of levels of service.
Client: City of San Jose
Waterways staff was retained to assess existing conditions and provide recommendations for enhancement of riparian and aquatic habitat along 2.5 miles of stream channel within Alum Rock Park, in the City of San Jose. The assessment identified Quail Hollow as a high priority project site based on fish passage impediments, stream channel erosion, and recreational access concerns.
Client: City of Watsonville
Waterways staff designed a seven mile network of pedestrian and bicycle trails through the Watsonville Sloughs System, within the City of Watsonville. Our scope included preparation of a Trails Master Plan feasibility assessment, hydraulic modeling, final plans and specifications, permit support, and construction monitoring. The design has been successfully implemented to create public access footpaths and bicycle trails with segments of Americans with Disabilities Act compliant access. Design challenges included multiple slough crossings (boardwalks), retaining walls, and bridges constructed on difficult peat soils within a complex hydrologic regime. Design of each trail segment offered opportunities for ecological restoration, including removal of exotic vegetation and revegetation with native communities.