From the Oakdale Leader – Scheduled on Tuesday, Oct. 3 at 8:30 a.m., Oakdale city officials will be gathering for a groundbreaking ceremony at the Stanley Wakefield Wilderness Area Salmonid Habitat Restoration project. “We are extremely grateful for the funding from US Fish and Wildlife and California Department of Water Resources that are making this project possible,” said Oakdale City Manager Bryan Whitemyer. The ground breaking ceremony will take place near 935 Kerr Park Drive, Oakdale, adjacent to the wilderness area. The project is designed to restore and enhance the Stanislaus River off-channel and riparian ecosystem processes critical for juvenile fish and other wildlife found in the riparian corridor. (more)
California Wants To Restore Its Rivers And San Francisco Bay To Health. Here Is Its Controversial Plan:
From the San Francisco Chronicle – California water regulators have teed up what promises to be one of the state’s biggest debates on water in years, releasing a long-anticipated proposal to revive dozens of rivers, creeks and wetlands by reining in the draws of cities and farms. The goal is nothing short of ensuring that sufficient water is flowing from the High Sierra to San Francisco Bay, to nourish vast and diverse landscapes, support fish and wildlife and halt the decline of the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, the largest estuary on the West Coast and the hub of the state’s water supply. (more)
From CBSNews – A salmon habitat restoration project in the American River is hoping to make life easy for the struggling fish headed up for the fall run. The stretch of the American River near Carmichael has always been an integral part of salmon spawning — fall-run Chinook salmon, in particular. The populations have dwindled so much, that the fishing season for them was actually suspended for this year. The Sacramento Water Forum has been trying to change that over the past 15 years, making this area sleep better habitat. The changes include grinding rocks down to gravel so instead of just popping into the river, they end up becoming gravel which can become life-saving for fish when they spawn. “Thirty to 50% of the spawning on the river happens in our project sites, so we know that this construction is very important,” said Erica Bishop with the Sacramento Water Forum. (more)
From LA Times – On the heels of a record-setting wet and warm August, forecasters on Thursday announced that El Niño is gaining strength and will almost certainly persist into 2024. El Niño, the warm phase of the El Niño-La Niña Southern Oscillation pattern, is a major driver of weather worldwide and is often associated with hotter global temperatures and wetter conditions in California. The system arrived in June and has been steadily gaining strength, with a 95% chance that it will persist into at least the first three months of 2024, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The odds of the system becoming a “strong” El Niño have increased to 71%. (more)
From USACE Sacramento District – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is the federal government’s largest water resources development and management agency. Through the Floodplain Management Services (FPMS) program, the Corps provides information on flood hazards to local interests, state agencies, and other federal agencies to guide development of the floodplains of the rivers of the United States. The FPMS program addresses the needs of people who live and work in floodplains to know about flood hazards, and the actions they can take to reduce property damage and prevent the loss of life caused by flooding. The program’s objective is to foster public understanding of the options for dealing with flood hazards and to promote prudent use and management of the nation’s floodplains. The FPMS program provides a full range of technical services and planning guidance that is needed to support effective floodplain management. (more)
STORY MAP: Floodplain Restoration and Recharge Pilot Studies: Evaluating the multiple benefits of increasing floodplain
From mavensnotebook – DWR report – Recent cycles of extreme drought and flood, and the passage of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) provide an enhanced opportunity to strengthen the nexus between flood and groundwater management. The need for using floodwaters for managed aquifer recharge, also known as Flood-MAR , is urgent and must be considered as a crucial part of California’s portfolio of sustainable and resilient water resource management strategies. This approach can be utilized on floodplains and flood bypasses to reduce flood risk and increase groundwater recharge potential, as well as provide ecosystem benefits through restored and reconnected floodplains. (more)
From mavensnotebook – California.com – Nestled in the heart of California’s vast Central Valley lies a shimmering oasis, a testament to human ingenuity and the ongoing quest for water management: the San Luis Reservoir. This magnificent reservoir, holding both natural beauty and immense significance for the Golden State’s water system, is much more than just a large lake. Here’s everything you need to know about this impressive structure. Water is pumped into the reservoir primarily from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta during periods when water is abundant. The reservoir then releases the stored water during dry periods, ensuring a consistent water supply for agricultural, municipal, and industrial users downstream. The water stored in San Luis Reservoir not only quenches the thirst of urban areas such as Los Angeles, San Jose, and San Francisco, but also irrigates the fertile farmlands of the Central Valley, which contribute significantly to California’s economy. The reservoir acts as a buffer, ensuring that water is available throughout the year, especially during California’s frequent and sometimes prolonged droughts. (more)
From The Mercury News – Scientists estimate that more than 350,000 acres of tule marsh once blanketed the area from Sacramento to Stockton, yet only 2% to 5% of those are left. European settlers moved here in the Gold Rush days and many hired Chinese immigrants to divert the waters and build levees for farming. Because many of those “farming islands” have now sunk some 20 to 25 feet below sea level – too low for plants when the tides come in – there are fewer opportunities now to build tidal marshes, according to John Cain of River Partners, a nonprofit that works on large-scale habitat restoration projects. Considered the project’s visionary, Cain got involved in promoting the wetland project in the late 1990s while working for the Natural Heritage Institute. Knowing Dutch Slough land was at the mouth of Marsh Creek, filled with mineral soils and clay, the restoration ecologist understood it had not sunk as low as some other areas and could be transformed into a tidal marsh. (more)
- Letter From the Chair
- Federal/National News
- State News
- Nominations are Now Open! (Leadership in FMA)
- Call for Articles
- 500-Year Flood Protection Added to ASCE Standard
- Recent Activities at NOAA’s CA NV River Forecast Center
- How is the NFIP Responsible? – PART 2
- At the Confluence of Emerging and Professional
You can access it using the web address below: https://issuu.com/fmanews/docs/fma_newsletter_august2023?fr=sZTMzMDY1MDE3Njc
BACKGROUND: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), in partnership with the Central Valley Flood Protection Board (CVFPB), and the Sacramento Area Flood Control Agency (SAFCA) are implementing the American River Common Features ‐ 2016 (ARCF‐16) levee improvement work in the greater Sacramento region. This major effort to protect lives, property and infrastructure began with seepage/stability work in 2019 and is estimated to continue into mid‐2024. Erosion construction along the Sacramento River East Levee (SREL) began in 2022 and is anticipated to be completed in 2026. As part of the SREL improvement project, Cross Levee Fences (CLF) in the Pocket area were removed over the last few years for construction and safety of USACE seepage/stability work.
CVFPB is the State regulatory agency that verifies flood control system construction, maintenance, and protection activities meet appropriate standards. CVFPB also regulates encroachments on the flood control system to ensure that they are not injurious to the adopted plan of flood control.
Many private properties in the Pocket Area have property rights up to the waterside levee toe and beyond. CVFPB has easements for flood control, not fee title ownership over several privately‐owned parcels. The purpose of the property rights held by CVFPB over these privately owned properties is solely to operate and maintain the flood control system and does not include any right of public access over these properties.
It is the City of Sacramento (City) pursuing a project called the “Sacramento River Parkway” to create a levee‐top public access trail within the Pocket Neighborhood. The City is required to—and is planning to—acquire the necessary rights of way for this project. More information about the City’s project is available at the following link:
Upon completion of segments of the SREL levee improvement project, some Pocket property owners applied for temporary CLFs to protect their private property. The temporary CLFs are authorized as minor alterations pursuant to California Code of Regulations, Title 23, Waters, Division 1, Article 3, Section 6(e), which allows the Executive Officer to waive the requirement to obtain a CVFPB permit for minor alterations that would not be injurious to the adopted plan of flood control. These temporary CLFs are considered minor alterations because of the method of construction, i.e., no excavation into the levee prism and are temporary. The authorizations for the temporary CLFs are subject to conditions and periodic review and renewal.
Before any construction of a permanent CLF can be initiated, CVFPB must grant a new permit. The public will have an opportunity to provide input before and during each hearing CVFPB holds to consider whether to approve a permit for a permanent CLF.