Santa Cruz, CA
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  Portland, OR
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Aptos Creek Watershed Assessment and Enhancement Plan

aptoscreekClient: 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.

erosionmapOur watershed assessment and enhancement planning approach consisted of assembling a multidisciplinary team representing fisheries biology, hydrology, geomorphology, water quality, and riparian ecology. The team members analyzed existing data, conducted reconnaissance-level field evaluations, and collected focused field data to assess impacts, identify limiting factors to steelhead and coho survival, and identify specific projects or programs that could be implemented to restore habitat conditions for steelhead and coho salmon. Individual disciplines produced technical memoranda of their findings that were then used to produce an Action Plan to guide restoration within the watershed for the next 15 years. The Action Plan was developed through a cooperative effort between the consulting team members, the Coastal Watershed Council, the funding agencies, a Technical Advisory Committee and a Public Advisory Group. Meetings were held regularly over the course of the project between the project team, the public, and agency staff that would be responsible for implementing the recommended projects and programs to gage the level of interest and future funding opportunities. Several recommended projects are already in the process of being designed, funded, and implemented.