Hydrologic & Hydraulic Modeling, Analysis, & Gauging
Client: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
This “Working Lands” project balances habitat improvement with improving or maintaining existing agricultural uses in a 300-acre sheep and cattle ranch on the tidal floodplain along the Coquille River in coastal Oregon. Conversion to pastureland at the site began in the early 1900s with the clearing of native forest, construction of levees and linear drainage ditches, and installation of tidegates, which were in disrepair and prevented active tidal flows and fish access to critical vegetated floodplain habitat. Waterways was contracted by the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the Coquille Watershed Association to support USFWS, ODFW, and the Coquille Watershed Association to design, permit, and implement the project. The project area is privately owned by a local family and will continue to function as a ranching operation following project completion. The project involves excavating new tidal channels, filling drainage ditches, installing large wood, re-establishing fish access to the floodplain, and building two large concrete box culverts with muted tidal regulator (MTR) controlled tide gates to allow managed tidal flows.
Client: West Valley College
Waterways has provided comprehensive planning, grant writing, surveying, design, construction support, and post construction monitoring services for five distinct projects within the West Valley College campus.
Client: Latimer Environmental
The Hillsboro Landfill is a construction-demolition waste landfill situated on 400 acres south of Hillsboro, Oregon between SE Minter Bridge Road and the Tualatin River. With the landfill operations located at the northeast end of the property, the south and west sides of the property contain wetland mitigation sites adjacent to the Tualatin River. Waterways was retained to design an outfall from the constructed wetlands located at the south end of the property that provides a geomorphically stable discharge into the Tualatin River.
Client: City of Watsonville
Under Phase 1, Waterways staff designed a seven mile network of pedestrian and bicycle trails along the Watsonville Sloughs System, within the City of Watsonville. Our scope included the preparation of a Trails Master Plan, identification of opportunities and constraints, engineering feasibility assessment, hydraulic modeling, final plans and specifications, permit support, and construction monitoring. The trail designs were implemented successfully, creating public access footpaths and bicycle trails with trail segments that also provide Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant access. Design challenges included multiple slough crossings (boardwalks), retaining walls, and bridges constructed on peat soils within a complex hydrologic regime. Design of each trail segment offered opportunities for ecological restoration, including removal of exotic vegetation and re-vegetation with native communities.
For phase 2, Waterways created a Master Plan for over 25 additional miles of trails within and adjacent to the City of Watsonville. Waterways is currently preparing 100% designs for portions of the Phase 2 trails system.
Client: Land Conservancy of San Luis Obispo County
The Land Conservancy of San Luis Obispo County has identified a long-term plan to protect water supply and watershed lands on the Nacimiento River, upstream of Nacimiento Reservoir, through a strategy of conservation easements and direct land acquisition. Through this process, the landowner of the 8,300 acre Attiyeh Ranch, located just upstream of Nacimiento Reservoir, approached The Land Conservancy for assistance in developing a plan to protect his property, in perpetuity, for watershed protection and habitat conservation.
Client: Resource Conservation District of Santa Cruz County
Waterways is teaming with CMAG Geotechnical Engineers to assist the Resource Conservation District of Santa Cruz County and USFWS with the siting, design, and installation of multiple ponds to enhance and expand habitat for the endangered Santa Cruz Long Toed Salamander.
City of Santa Barbara
Waterways recently provided planning, design and construction management services for Phases 1 & 2 of the Arroyo Burro Open Space Restoration Project. The project area is located within the Arroyo Burro Open Space Preserve, owned by the City of Santa Barbara. Pre-project conditions within the approximately 20 acre project area were characterized by a deeply incised channel with actively eroding banks that was disconnected from historic floodplains. Ongoing bank erosion threatened to undermine a section of Las Positas Drive and several large oak and sycamore trees. Exotic vegetation had colonized the former floodplains and streambanks.
Client: Trout Unlimited
Under contract with Trout Unlimited, Waterways led design and construction phase engineering efforts for the removal of a fish passage barrier on San Clemente Creek, a major tributary to the Carmel River. Our design team included Streeter Group (structural engineer) and CMAG Engineering (geotechnical). Work included topographic mapping, hydraulic modeling, concept level design alternatives analysis, and development of final 100% level design drawings. Waterways coordinated with the Resource Conservation District of Monterey County to provide technical support for permitting efforts and then coordinated engineering support during project implementation in the summer of 2020.
Client: US Forest Service
Waterways staff led an interdisciplinary team to assess existing conditions within the Blackwood Creek Watershed, and then prepare detailed engineering plans and specifications for recommended projects. 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. To date, four distinct restoration projects have been designed and implemented:
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 construction observation.
Client: South Coast Habitat Restoration
South Coast Habitat Restoration contracted with Waterways to provide design services for the improvement of fish passage conditions at Widdoes Crossing, a private road crossing on Gobernador Creek. Fish passage conditions at the site were severely impacted by incision of the streambed below a concrete and boulder ford which created an 8 foot hydraulic drop.
Client: MCS, Corp.
Waterways recently prepared detailed engineering plans and specifications to construct a wetland mitigation site in the historic floodplain of Yakima River in Washington. The site was historically leveled and channelized for livestock grazing before being purchased by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). BLM has been managing the property to reduce invasive weeds for several years in anticipation of this project, which was initiated as a mitigation site for a nearby gravel mining operation with direct impacts to a nearby wetland.
Client: Clackamas County, Water Environment Services
Clackamas County Water Environment Services (WES) is one of the agencies responsible for wastewater and stormwater management in the greater Portland metro area. To better understand the effects of management activities on watershed health and the status of aquatic resources in the district, WES contracted with Waterways to develop monitoring methods and carry out monitoring of aquatic resource and physical habitat conditions in its management region, which consists of small and medium sized tributaries in the lower Willamette, Clackamas, and Tualatin Rivers, in northern Clackamas County, OR. In close cooperation with WES, Waterways led the development of geomorphic monitoring approaches, site selection, establishment of monumented cross sections and initial monitoring of 25 to 30 stream reaches in 2009. Each monitoring event includes long profile and cross section surveys, bulk bed material sampling, pebble counts, large wood inventory, measurements of pool size and frequency, documentation of active bank erosion, and general geomorphic observations. These data are complimented with macroinvertebrate population analysis of the same reaches by Mike Cole (Cole Ecological), a regional expert in stream macroinvertebrates. WES retained Waterways to lead monitoring events in 2009, 2011, 2014, and 2017.
Client: Granite Construction Company
Waterways staff assisted Granite Construction Company with planning, designing, and permitting an off-channel gravel extraction project on the Kunzler Ranch property, located in Ukiah Valley at the confluence of Ackerman Creek and the Russian River. Waterways conducted hydrologic, hydraulic, and geomorphic analyses to assess flooding impacts, habitat development potential, and channel stability at the proposed project site during project-life and reclamation phases.
Client: Boy Scouts of America, Monterey Bay Area Council
The Boy Scouts of America own and operate an 800-acre property on the Little Sur River that is used as a summer camp. A flashboard dam was installed in the 1950s to create an impoundment for recreational and educational uses. The seasonal operation of this dam impeded juvenile and adult steelhead passage at the site.
Client: Truckee River Watershed Council & California State Parks
A 2007 geomorphic assessment of the Coldstream Canyon watershed identified opportunities to restore stream and watershed function along the lower one-half mile of Cold Creek, extending upstream from the confluence with Donner Creek. Waterways, in coordination with River Run Consulting, prepared final designs for the restoration of this reach. Designs included excavating an inset floodplain bench, re-contouring steep banks, and installing log/boulder barb to reduce bank erosion and expand and improve riparian habitat. Waterways and River Run also provided permit support and construction observation.
Client: Resource Conservation District of Monterey County
Currently undeveloped portions of the North Monterey County High School Campus provide excellent locations for upland and wetland restoration projects that could facilitate educational opportunities. Waterways is supporting Central Coast Wetlands group and the RCD of Monterey County by providing land surveying, preliminary design services, and permit support for proposed nature trails and wetland enhancement projects in support of Red Legged Frog and Santa Cruz Long Toed Salamanders.
Client: Kennewick Man, LLC.
The Brookside Apartments are located adjacent to Kelly Creek just upstream of the Kane Drive culvert crossing in Gresham, Oregon. Kelly Creek, which flows through mixed low density residential and commercial areas before flowing into the pond at Mt. Hood Community College, has incised and is prone to lateral erosion and channel widening. This contributed to bank erosion along the right bank of Kelly Creek at the apartment property during high creek stage in 2017. This erosion threatens the stability of an adjacent apartment building.
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 and habitat restoration project, The project, constructed in 2009 and 2010, 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 and associated 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. Design elements were incorporated into project to enhance habitat for a variety of species including salmon and steelhead, river otter, California red-legged frog, and freshwater shrimp.
Client:City of Watsonville
The CARE project includes an ADA compliant pedestrian and bicycle trail providing community access to through a riparian corridor along the Pajaro River, near its outlet to the Pacific. The trail was designed with a surface that could be easily maintained following periodic inundation and fine sediment deposition within the floodplain through which it traverses. The trail provides an outlet to a scenic overlook on the Pajaro River, as well as to a boat launching ramp.
Client: Town of Truckee
Over the past 150 years, Trout Creek, a tributary to the Truckee River, has been impacted by development of the downtown, the railroad, and other land uses. These impacts have resulted in channelization and realignmentof Trout Creek, upsetting natural channel processes such as bed load movement, habitat creation, hydrology, and wildlife corridors through loss of riparian habitat. Despite past efforts to “control” Trout Creek, flooding has remained a significant problem. In addition, the biological and aesthetic value of the channel was degraded.
Client: Resource Conservation District of Santa Cruz County
Waterways Consulting has provided planning, design, and construction implementation support (e.g., staking, field modifications, and supervision) for the installation of 3 ponds located on the Watsonville Slough Farm property, owned by the Land Trust of Santa Cruz County. The ponds were created either as a stormwater or sediment control facility or for habitat enhancement.
Client: Clean Water Services (CWS), Oregon Department of State Lands (DSL)
Waterways assisted Clean Water Services and Department of State Lands 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 create a shared accounting system for quantifying impacts and benefits to ecosystem services for application to ecosystem markets. The Partnership has completed a test version for water temperature, wetlands, salmonid habitat, and upland prairie that was applied to pilot projects. Half Mile Lane was one of the pilot projects that tested three of these services, and was the first pilot site that resulted in real-world transactions. The project tested not only the ecosystem credit calculator, but also the sequence of developing, selling and buying ecosystem credits.
Client: Johnson Creek Watershed Council
Kelley Creek is a moderate gradient tributary to Johnson Creek that flows from south to north near the boundary between Clackamas and Multnomah Counties. The channel is incised and has been impacted by past land uses which have most likely straightened and ditched the channel to accommodate crossings and local and regional roads, limit flooding, and utilize adjacent areas, including historic floodplain, for agricultural use. Waterways was hired by the Johnson Creek Watershed Council (JCWC) to develop designs and help oversee construction of a fish passage project over an existing dam along Kelley Creek. The project site is located on an approximately 16- acre property that has been owned and managed for multiple generations. The property is primarily residential though the owner does graze cattle and the owner holds a water right for an off-channel pond that is primarily a landscape feature though historically it may have been used to store water for irrigation. Prior to project implementation, water entered the pond through a gravity fed system that consists of the approximately five-foot high diversion dam and intake pipe. This dam presented a total fish passage barrier for all fish species.
Client: Benchmark Resources
The pond construction at Pilarcitos Quarry included two bentonite-lined ponds within the Nuff Creek watershed, each designed to improve habitat for red-legged frogs. Waterways provided planning services to site the ponds, performed topographic and construction surveying, prepared preliminary and final designs, provided permit support, and supervised the construction effort.
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: Truckee Tahoe Lumber Company
The Truckee Lumber Company owns a parcel of land adjacent to Trout Creek in the Town of Truckee, CA that is currently shown within a FEMA designated special flood hazard area (SFHA) for the Creek. Trout Creek has undergone multiple flood control/habitat improvement projects since the date the effective SFHA was established, several of which were designed by Waterways for the Town. The Lumberyard retained Waterways to work through the FEMA letter of map revision (LOMR) application process to remove developable property from the SFHA. The application is currently working its way through the permitting process.
Client: Cascade Environmental Group
Waterways has teamed with Cascade Environmental Group to develop, implement, and monitor a restoration plan for approximately 30 acres of riparian and bottomland forest along the Willamette River in the city of Gladstone. The site encompasses a short, perennial tributary known as Rinearson Creek that is periodically backwatered from the Willamette River and provides rearing and off-channel refugia for a variety of species and life stages of salmon.
Client: Sonoma County Public Works
Waterways provided planning and design services to the Sonoma County Department of Transportation and Public Works to address two fish passage barriers associated with stream crossings on County roads. The sites consisted of two large concrete box culverts that were limiting fish passage to high quality spawning and rearing habitat located upstream. At each of these culverts, the natural streambed had incised to at least 4 feet below the culvert outlet, resulting in a partial barrier to migrating salmonids. The design solution included structural retrofit of the culverts using concrete baffles, and the construction of a roughened channel to aggrade the stream profile sufficiently to eliminate the passage barrier. Work included topographic mapping, hydrologic and hydraulic modeling, and preparation of preliminary and final design drawings and specifications.
Client: United States Forest Service
The Cookhouse Meadow Restoration Project replaced approximately 1600 linear feet of stream that was incised by 4-6 feet within a meadow setting. The new channel provided a more natural channel morphology, flood regime, and soil moisture regime throughout the meadow. In turn, water quality, vegetation composition, and fish and wildlife habitat was improved. 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.