Monday, May 2, 2016 – The Hamilton City Flood Damage Reduction and Ecosystem Restoration Project, a dual purpose project that has been in the works for several years, officially kicked off construction with a groundbreaking ceremony today. Along with Board Secretary Dolan, many federal, state and local officials who have also supported the project and helped make it happen were on hand for this historic event. They included Deputy Director of Department of Water Resource’s Integrated Water Management, Gary Bardini, The Nature Conservancy’s Director of External Affairs, Jay Ziegler, Reclamation District 2140 President, Lee Ann GrigsbyPuente, Congressman Doug LaMalfa, Congressman John Garamendi, and Colonel Michael J. Farrell, Commander, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE).
The project’s funding and land donation was made possible by a partnership between the USACE, state and local matching funds, Reclamation District 2140, and the Nature Conservancy. The project will consist of constructing seven miles of setback levee to improve flood protection for Hamilton City and surrounding areas, and restoration of approximately 1500 acres to native habitat. Hamilton City has flooded six times in 20 years, with evacuations necessary. The original levees were in bad shape and only built to protect against a 10-year flood event.
With continued funding, major construction of this flood protection-ecosystem restoration project should be completed by 2018.