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: 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: Vail Resorts
Waterways staff was retained to prepare the Edgewood Watershed Assessment and Enhancement Plan (EWAEP) for the portion of the Edgewood Creek watershed managed by Heavenly Mountain Resort, located in the Lake Tahoe Basin, as part of the resorts 2005 Master Plan. The purpose of the EWAEP was to identify potential restoration projects in the Edgewood Creek watershed to improve Stream Environment Zone health and improve water quality. The final EWAEP was submitted in January 2006 and was followed by four restoration designs completed in 2006.
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: 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: 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.
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: 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: 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: 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: Necanicum River Watershed Council
Waterways was hired to develop an engineered solution to address a high priority fish passage site on the South Fork Necanicum. The project site consists of a 6-foot high diversion dam and intake structure. The objectives of the project were to provide unimpeded passage for all species and life histories of salmonids present in the South Fork, meet NMFS and NOAA Fisheries fish screening guidelines, and provide a reliable source of water to the City of Seaside according to their existing water right. Specific project tasks include preparing a set of alternatives for review by a technical advisory team, preparation of preliminary engineering drawings for the selected alternative, preparation of a water management plan that identifies potential changes in the operation and management of the diversion as a result of the modifications, and preparation of the final engineering drawings.
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.
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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: County of Santa Cruz
Waterways staff, in conjunction with SH+G, developed sediment load allocation and recommendations to reduce chronic fine sediment inflow as a basis for a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) for the San Lorenzo River Watershed in Santa Cruz County. Work included development of a GIS database of streams, subwatershed drainage basins and road networks. Erosion rates developed for the Soquel Demonstration Forest by California Department of Forestry were adapted to the San Lorenzo River watershed to calculate sediment yields from roads and other erosion sources. The project aimed to improve impaired fisheries conditions for steelhead and coho.
Client: The Nature Conservancy
Independence Lake holds one of only two known wild, self-sustaining populations of Lahontan cutthroat trout in the world - a species that has been lost from 99% of its historic range. Waterways staff are proud to have assisted The Nature Conservancy in their efforts to protect and restore this critical habitat through the planning and design of a barrier to exclude non-native fish from the lake.
Client: Yamhill Basin Council
Gooseneck Creek, tributary to Mill Creek and the South Yamhill River, is an important tributary for steelhead/coho salmon spawning and rearing. The project area is located above the confluence with Mill Creek in a portion of the channel that was historically impacted by aggregate mining. Waterways was contracted by the Greater Yamhill Basin Council to develop a restoration design for approximately 2,000 feet of Gooseneck Creek that was incised down to bedrock due to past mining activities and historic plugging of a secondary channel. Confinement of the channel, in-channel mining activities, and loss of secondary channels had all but eliminated the natural pool-riffle morphology with a consequent loss of aquatic and riparian 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.