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: American Rivers, Inc.
American Rivers performed an assessment of Alpine Meadows in the Carson River watershed, and identified Faith Valley as its highest priority meadow restoration due to its impairments and its popularity with recreational users for fishing, hiking, and camping. American Rivers hired Waterways to complete a baseline conditions assessment and develop designs for habitat improvement. The baseline assessment included topographic survey, modeling, geomorphic mapping, botanical and other assessments. The assessment determined that the primary cause of impairment in Faith Valley is channel incision and associated detrimental impacts, including bank erosion, lowered groundwater table, and degradation of meadow plant assemblages.
Client: Sempervirons Fund and Peninsula Open Space Trust
Mill Creek is the largest tributary of San Vicente Creek, in Santa Cruz County, an important stream for steelhead and coho salmon on the central California coast. Mill Creek drains a small, steep watershed containing a localized area of granitic rocks within the highly erosive marine sediments that dominate the Coast Range. Because of this, Mill Creek is an important source of resistant spawning gravel, which is limiting for fish in many watersheds in the central Coast Range. Within the recently-acquired San Vicente Redwoods Preserve, two dams on lower Mill Creek impound gravel and prevent fish passage.
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: 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: 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.
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: Wasco County Soil and Water Conservation District
Mill Creek is a moderately-sized tributary to the Columbia River that originates on the eastern slope of Mt. Hood and flows northeast through the City of The Dalles, Oregon. Urbanization along the lower two miles of Mills Creek in the City of The Dalles resulted in the simplification of the aquatic and riparian habitats. In 2011, The Dalles Watershed Council (DWC) commissioned an evaluation of the urbanized reach to assess land use impacts and identify opportunities for habitat restoration. Following the initial assessment, a preliminary engineering design was developed for the Honald/Buyers property. The preliminary design included excavation and connection of a historic side channel that had been partially filled, utilization of an existing side channel as a backwater alcove, installation of a precast spanning bridge across the reconnected side channel, and installation of large wood structures along the channels and floodplain to increase roughness and improve habitat conditions.
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. The project area encompasses approximately 400 acres of the meadow within Upper Hope Valley, just east of Blue Lakes Road, Alpine County.
Client: California Trout, Inc.
Lower Hat Creek is an important coldwater fishery and is a designated Wild Trout Fishery by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. Decades of cattle grazing, the introduction of muskrats, and over fishing caused the degradation of riparian and aquatic habitat along lower Hat Creek. Waterways, in collaboration with Streeter Group and California Trout, Inc., completed designs to restore a reach of Hat Creek. The restoration measures included installing a 160’-long pedestrian bridge and trail, and relocating the parking facilities that improve angler access and reduce habitat disturbance.
Client: South Coast Habitat Restoration
Waterways provided design and construction support services to South Coast Habitat Restoration to improve fish passage conditions and vehicular access at a private bridge that crosses Carpinteria Creek. The project site had a concrete-lined channel with drop structures that impeded the upstream migration of salmonids and an undersized bridge that could be overtopped during flood events. Site improvements included removing the concrete-lined channel, recontouring the banks, and revegetating the riparian area.
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.
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: County of San Luis Obispo
Waterways was contracted by the County of San Luis Obispo Public Works Department (Utilities Division) to provide assessment, design and construction observation services for the improvement of fish passage conditions and the protection of a waterline in Arroyo Grande Creek at the Rodriguez Bridge crossing. Our work also included preparation of a design report and response to comments from NMFS fish passage engineers.
Just upstream of Rodriguez Bridge there was an exposed concrete encased water supply line within the bed of Arroyo Grande. Channel scour on the downstream side of the encasement had nearly undermined the encasement, potentially leading to structural failure of the pipeline, and leaving a 3 foot hydraulic drop that created a partial barrier to fish passage.
The designs for fish passage improvements and pipeline included installation of a roughened channel. The channel was reconstructed for approximately 250 feet, using imported rock to provide a smooth transition in the stream profile and hydraulic conditions conducive to fish passage. Two pools and a woody debris structure were incorporated into the project to provide resting and rearing habitat. Additionally, boulder weirs were installed to maintain pool scour and grade control through the project area.
Steelhead were not found in the project reach during pre-construction field surveys. However, steelhead were observed both upstream and downstream of Rodriguez Bridge, and near the installed woody debris structure during post-construction monitoring. The project has greatly improved fish passage conditions and is meeting established success criteria.
Client: Resource Conservation District of Santa Cruz County
The Resource Conservation District of Santa Cruz County (RCD) retained Waterways 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 the 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 eroded areas deliver excessive volumes of sediment to the San Lorenzo River and its key tributaries (in this case Bean Creek and Zayante Creek). The large sediment inputs to the tributary channels negatively impact salmonid habitat.
Client: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
The Seestrom Tidelands Restoration project will construct approximately four miles of tidal floodplain channels and restore fish access and tidal flows within a 300-acre working pasture property in the lower reach of the Coquille River, 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 are currently in disrepair, preventing active tidal flows and fish movement.
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.
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.
Waterways is supporting Central Coast Wetlands Group by leading the design team in development of plans to construct a 30 acre managed wetland to treat irrigation runoff within the Elkhorn Slough Watershed.
Waterways staff assisted the NRCS in the fall of 2015 with construction phase services for the implementation of agricultural pond repairs in Alameda County. Our role included construction staking and as-built mapping, construction observation and reporting, and field engineering services.
Client: City of Watsonville
Waterways staff developed a restoration plan for an area in the Watsonville Slough near Ramsay Park. Initial assessment of the Project Area identified an old landfill adjacent to Ramsay Park as a high priority site to restore wetland habitat and provide for public access. The Ramsay Park site was part of a larger restoration planning process that identified and prioritized a range of sites in the area (including the landfill site). A complete restoration plan for the Ramsay Park was developed that included removal of fill, restoration of wetland and upland habitat, and public access trail and signage. Waterways’ tasks included hydrologic and ecological assessments, a biotic report, wetland delineation, engineering plans, and a design report. The design aimed to create a wetland setting with irregular shorelines, suitable vegetation and natural wetland features that would serve to restore and enhance wildlife habitat and wetland functions on site.
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: Scappoose Bay Watershed Council
In 2000, the Scappoose Bay Watershed Council (SBWC) completed a watershed assessment for the streams that enter Scappoose Bay. The watershed assessment identified several areas of concern affecting watershed and ecosystem health. Of particular concern was the potential impact that incision has on channel and floodplain interaction and the ability of the stream to support and maintain good aquatic habitat. A five mile stretch of South Scappoose Creek that flows through the City of Scappoose was determined to be a high priority reach for further assessment. It was identified as a priority for further assessment due to local concerns about erosion and flooding and the opportunities to enhance conditions for salmon and other organisms.
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.
City of Santa Barbara
Waterways recently provided planning, design and construction management services for Phase 1 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: RCD of Santa Cruz
A watershed assessment prepared for the East Branch of Soquel Creek identified limiting factors for steelhead and coho production which included high sediment loads, lack of pools, low summer base flows, and high water temperatures. In 2013, the Resource Conservation District of Santa Cruz County contracted with Waterways to prepare a feasibility analysis and engineered designs for biomechanical bank stabilization of a large eroding cutbank and the creation of habitat enhancements along approximately 1,500 feet channel banks that were covered with unvegetated riprap, resulting in lack of habitat complexity or riparian cover.