Elkhorn Slough Watershed

Permit Coordination Program

2001 Implementation Report

Report prepared by

USDA – Natural Resources Conservation Service

Elkhorn Slough Watershed Project

In fulfillment of terms of agreement with:

United States Army Corps of Engineers

United States Fish and Wildlife Service

California Department of Fish and Game

California Coastal Commission

Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board

County of Monterey

 

 

 

 

 

 

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USDA's TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD).

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USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

February 2002

 

Permit Coordination for Resource Conservation on Farms

Summary

The Elkhorn Slough Watershed Permit Coordination Program was established in the fall of 1998 when six local, state and federal agencies entered into watershed-based agreements with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Resource Conservation District of Monterey County for natural resource conservation projects in the Elkhorn Slough Watershed in northern Monterey County, California. The program permits NRCS and the RCD to provide farmers and land managers with design and construction specifications for resource enhancing projects utilizing 10 pre-approved conservation practices. Special conditions on the timing, location, and method of installation are included in the plans provided to the participants to avoid or mitigate negative impacts on water quality and sensitive species and habitats.

Twenty six projects were completed in the first 3 years of the program. A total of 47 conservation practices were used alone, or in combination, to capture upland agricultural erosion, stabilize gullies, and protect eroding stream banks at the 26 project sites. All of the projects installed between 1998 and 2000 are performing as planned with minor maintenance on a few projects. In 2001, these projects continued to prevent an estimated 3590 cubic yards of sediment from being transported downstream into riparian and wetland habitats (see Table 1 below).

In 2001, two additional conservation projects were completed, raising the total number of completed projects to 28 during the first four years of the program. The 2 new projects resulted in 2,059 cubic yards of sediment being removed from stream channels or prevented from leaving farms.

As a result of projects implemented during the first four years of the project, an estimated 30,603 cubic yards (41,314 tons) of soil have been prevented from washing downstream into the sensitive wetlands of Elkhorn Slough. This is equivalent to a line of full sized pick-up trucks carrying soil and parked end to end from Salinas to Santa Rosa (156 miles)!

 

 

Table 1: Summary of Permit Coordination Program Results

 

Project

Year

# of

Projects

Reduction in Sediment Transported Downstream

Benefits in

1998

(cu.yds.)

Benefits in 1999

(cu.yds.)

Benefits in

2000

(cu.yds.)

Benefits in 2001

(cu.yds.)

Cumulative benefits

(cu.yds.)

1998

15

8,953

1,623

4,457

957

15,990

1999

9

--

5,288

2,348

2,348

9,984

2000

2

--

--

2,285

285

2,570

2001

2

--

--

--

2,059

2,059

Totals:

28

8,953

6,911

9,090

5,649

30,603

 

The Permit Coordination Program continues to alleviate the disincentive farmers and land managers experience when considering the regulatory review and permitting process when they wish to restore or enhance natural resource conditions on their property. Since 1998, the program has facilitated the installation of 11 water and sediment control basins on agricultural lands, and the restoration and enhancement of 8,575 feet of stream channel. Without the Permit Coordination Program, these projects would either not have been attempted, or would have been done without any form of agency guidance or oversight. The Program provides land managers with an alternative to the time-consuming and costly process of multiple permit applications, while ensuring that they utilize the regulatory agency approved conservation practice standards of the NRCS and the RCD.

Project Background

The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), and Sustainable Conservation, a non-profit environmental organization, worked in concert to design this innovative program to offer "one stop regulatory shopping" to land managers willing to implement conservation practices that result in net environmental benefits. The program is available to farmers and ranchers in the Elkhorn Slough Watershed who voluntarily seek to reduce agricultural run off and protect natural resources on their lands.

Ten conservation practices recommended by the Department of Agriculture and the Environmental Protection Agency have been conditioned and authorized in advance by the participating federal, state and local agencies (see Table 2) through multiple watershed-based permits issued to the NRCS and Resource Conservation District of Monterey County. Any farmer receiving technical and/or cost share assistance from the NRCS can now implement the practices without the need to seek individual project permits. NRCS assists in project design and monitors implementation and maintenance of the practices to ensure performance in conformance with the conditions of the permits.

 

Table 2: Participating Agencies and Form of Agreement

Agency

Regulatory Agreement

United States Army Corps of Engineers

Section 404 Regional Permit

United States Fish and Wildlife Service

Programmatic Biological and Conference Opinion and Avoidance Measures

California Coastal Commission

Federal Consistency Review

California Department of Fish and Game

1601 Streambed Alteration Memorandum of Understanding

Regional Water Quality Control Board

Section 401 Certification

County of Monterey

Erosion and Grading Ordinance Exemptions

 

This program removes an institutional disincentive to improved land management. Farmers are always seeking ways to improve the value and productivity of their land and protect their investment in their crops but often hesitate to adopt changes that introduce uncertainty or could negatively affect the economic return on their operations. Voluntary, proactive partnerships on private property to install conservation practices have been limited by fear among many landowners that government regulatory review will be complex, costly and time-consuming.

Typical agency review processes intended to protect natural values can act as disincentives to voluntary initiatives to reduce non-point source pollution and enhance habitat. Most farmers will continue with current land use practices if the time and financial costs of seeking governmental approvals exceed the perceived benefits of engaging in conservation activities. The challenge identified in the Elkhorn Slough watershed was to find a way to both provide incentives and overcome the disincentives to good land management.

The one-stop regulatory shopping program, combined with the ongoing technical and financial assistance programs of NRCS and the RCD, effectively removes disincentives and provides incentives for voluntary enhancement and sustainable management of agricultural and natural resources in the Elkhorn Slough Watershed. Each of the agencies involved in this interagency coordination effort deserves recognition for creating an efficient watershed-level review process that is easy for farmers to use while ensuring the integrity of the agency resource protection and environmental quality mandates.

 

Fourth Year Accomplishments

Nine projects were proposed in 2001. Out of nine proposed projects, only two were completed under the permit agreements in 2001 (# 01-001 and 01-006). These two projects involved 600 feet of stream channel stabilization and the construction of an upland sediment basin combined with improved farm management. Implementation of these two projects removed an estimated 2059 cubic yards (2,780 tons) of sediment that would have otherwise been transported further downstream. The projects resulted in the enhancement of riparian corridor habitat and function.

Delays in implementation of the other proposed projects were caused by several factors including a lack of landowner commitment to quick installation, a backlog in NRCS and RCD completion of final designs, and discovery of a listed species at one project site. The delayed projects will be completed as planned or revised in 2002.

Summary statistics for the projects completed in 2001 are provided in Table 3 and each project is described in more detail in Appendix 1. The status and ongoing benefit of projects installed in 1998, 1999 and 2000 are provided in Appendix 2.

 

 

 

Table 3: 2001 Summary Statistics

Conservation Projects and Natural Enhancements and Sediment Reductions Resulting from Permit Coordination Program

Total Number of Projects Completed (2001)

Total Number of Practices Completed

PRACTICE NUMBER

Total Enhancement of Streams, Creeks, or Riparian Zones

Total Volume of Soil Moved (cubic yards)

Reduction in Sediment Transported Downstream into Riparian and Wetland Habitat (cubic yards)

2

 

 

Stream Channel Stabilization

1

Average Width:

Average Depth:

Total Length:

Total Area:

30ft

6.5 ft

600 ft

18000 sq.ft.

 

1200

1200 cu yds sediment removed from riparian channel

 

 

 

Critical Area Planting

(Streambank)

1

Average Width:

Total Length:

Total Area:

2 ft

800 ft

1600 sq. ft.

N/A

N/A (see footnote 2)

 

 

Critical Area Planting

(Grass on Berm of Basin)

1

Average Width:

Total Length:

Total Area:

10 ft.

675 ft.

6750 ft2

N/A

N/A (see footnote 3)

 

Water and Sediment Control Basin

1

Average Width:

Total Length:

Total Area:

45 ft

225 ft

.3 ac ft

 

750

750 cu yds sediment removed during construction of basin

109 cu yds annual retention capacity

 

Underground Outlet

23

Total Length:

2428 ft.

27

N/A (see footnote 3)

TOTALS

 

6

   

1,977 cu.yds.

2,059 cu. yds. or

2,780 tons

 

 

 

 

 

Required Agency Reporting Elements

The following information addresses the reporting requirements of the participating agencies.

Location and Purpose of Project The projects in 2001 were implemented in two areas of the Elkhorn Slough Watershed as indicated on the watershed map (see page 19, end of Appendix 2). One new project was located on a seasonal stream, and the other was located on upland swales where there is a potential for agricultural runoff to create ephemeral gullies. The purpose of these projects involved the following:

Modification to Bank or Channel Only one of the projects in 2001 involved earth work in a stream channel. The site was severely degraded due to accumulation of sediment in the channel (see photo documentation at end of report). The lower stream channel had become blocked by sediment that had accumulated since 1995 storms and previous strawberry farming on steep slopes entering the channel. This project is downstream from a sediment basin and stream channel work done on the same ranch in 1999. (#99-002 and #99-007) Willow trees had colonized this sandy soil and tapped into shallow groundwater from excess irrigation. During winter, the increased runoff from agricultural lands carried additional sediment into the willows where the sand was deposited. The stream channel project involved cutting a 40 foot wide corridor of young willows (less than 6 inches dbh) and then removing up to 6.5 feet of accumulated sediment that had buried the original channel and banks. Only loose sand was removed leaving the original heavier soils of the valley bottom undisturbed. The stream is seasonal and all work was performed during the dry season. The channel was completed in the fall of 2001 and all banks were reduced to a 2:1 slope and replanted with willows root wads.

Water Quality All the projects performed under the terms of the Permit Coordination Project are intended to improve water quality over time by reducing erosion, runoff, and transport of sediment and agricultural chemicals. There is some short-term soil disturbance resulting from stream bank and stream channel stabilization work. As a result some soil is expected to remobilize during winter storms and contribute to downstream sedimentation.

Several measures were taken to minimize downstream mobilization of soils. The upland project was immediately seeded with quick growing annual grasses (#01-006). Plant materials were selected from the approved list of non-invasive species.

Water quality protection from the stream channel stabilization project (#00-001) was accomplished by cutting out only existing willows under 6" dbh within the stream channel, and allowing existing grasses and plants to continue to grow in place on the adjacent flood plain. The sediment from the channel excavation was stockpiled away from the stream and a silt fence was erected to prevent any of the sand from re-entering during a storm event.

The water quality enhancement potential of the conservation practices installed in 2001 and in previous years are readily visible during winter rains. In addition to the benefit of removing accumulated sediment from stream channel sites, the projects have stabilized gully erosion and captured soil on-farm in sediment basins. Sediment impairment of water quality has been dramatically reduced at the project sites. Downstream sediment and agrochemical transport was proportionately reduced as a result of this work.

Species of Concern Each project was evaluated during project planning as potential habitat for threatened and endangered animal and plant species. One of the projects conducted in 2001 involved suitable stream habitat for red-legged frogs (# 01-001). NRCS Area Biologist, Glenn Wilcox, conducted a biological survey of the area before construction and this survey is available at the NRCS field office in Salinas. No red-legged frogs were encountered at any of the projects this year. No special precautions were taken to allow for fish passage since none of the sites were located on fisheries streams.

Project work on all sites in the watershed was conducted only during the extended dry season during the fall of 2001 so the chances for incidental take of the species was further minimized. One of the proposed projects on native upland habitat showed evidence of the federally threatened Monterey Spineflower. This project, (#01-004), was delayed until 2002, until a suitable alternative can be designed to avoid the spineflower. No threatened or endangered species were encountered during pre-construction surveys or during project implementation of the projects covered by the agreements.

Wetland Delineations A wetland delineation was conducted for 4 proposed projects where hydrologic, vegetative, or soil properties indicated a potential for wetland conditions (#01-001, 01-003, 01-006, and 01-009). This field investigation was conducted according to the requirements in the Corps of Engineers Wetlands Delineation Manual (January 1987). Two of these proposed projects have been delayed until 2002 until engineering designs are completed that avoid intrusion into the wetland areas. This information will be provided in the Permit Coordination Report for 2002. The complete documentation of these wetland delineations is on file in the NRCS Salinas Service Center.

 

Reflections from the Field

The fourth year of the project presented many challenges for the new staff at the NRCS and RCD Salinas Field Office. Daniel Mountjoy and Sustainable Conservation are working with staff to ensure continuity in the Permit Coordination process by providing training and consultation on implementation of the program. The staff is committed to applying the original benefits of the program, and to enhancing the environmental qualities of the watershed. Permit requirements have relieved landowners of the burden of acquiring permits, but have increased staff time involved to learn and implement the program.

Some challenges in 2001 were due to lack of grower or owner commitment to complete projects due to growing season or time constraints, the large Elkhorn Project workload backlog from previous understaffing, and encountering Threatened or Endangered Species (the Monterey Spineflower) in one case. The promise of the Permit Coordination Program has resulted in unmet expectations when limited NRCS and RCD staffing is unable to provide designs for an increasing number of referrals from the Monterey County Planning and Building and Environmental Health Departments. The County would like to see landowners voluntarily comply with erosion ordinances and frequently refers out-of-compliance landowners to the NRCS and RCD to develop conservation plans and expedite permitting through the Coordination Program. One method to expedite compliance has been to offer these land managers recommendations on vegetative on-farm treatments that do not require complex designs or permits. This report does not track the number of projects completed in this manner.

 

An expanded reward of the Permit Coordination Program is the interest being expressed by watershed managers, agency personnel (at the field as well as state level), and farm organizations. These individuals and groups would like to implement similar agreements in watersheds throughout California. Sustainable Conservation is actively working in partnership with NRCS and RCD field personnel on implementing the program in the Morro Bay watershed in San Luis Obispo County, the Salinas River Watershed in Monterey County, the Tomales Bay watershed of Marin County and the Navarro River watershed of Mendocino County. Additional sites throughout California are being considered for projects in the coming years. One site that should benefit from the lessons learned with the Elkhorn Slough Program is a proposed Permit Coordination Program for Santa Cruz County where many of the farming conditions and species of concern are similar. It is imperative that the program be "user-friendly", efficient for use by NRCS and RCD, and that it be promoted equitably wherever it is applied.

As the Elkhorn Slough Watershed Permit Coordination Program gains experience and recognition, it should become easier for the participants in other sites to work out agreements based on templates developed for Elkhorn. The process of negotiating the special conditions on specific practices and selecting the appropriate form of agreement (e.g. MOU, Regional Permit, Federal Consistency Review, etc.) can be further facilitated if leadership personnel in the participating agencies are familiar with what has been accomplished in the Elkhorn Slough Watershed. Daniel Mountjoy (NRCS) and Bob Neale (Sustainable Conservation) continue to present the benefits of permit coordination to various state and national agencies when requested. Sustainable Conservation is serving on a State Task Force at the request of Secretary of Resources, Mary Nichols, to explore how resource agencies can reduce permitting barriers for restoration projects. Both NRCS and Sustainable Conservation are committed to promoting this model of regulatory coordination to other regions. When regulatory disincentives to natural resource enhancement are removed, landowners have demonstrated that they are willing to invest financial and material resources to improve water quality, wildlife habitat, and soil resources.

Appendix 1: Description of the Conservation Projects and the Natural Enhancements, Physical Improvements and Sediment Reductions Resulting from the Permit Coordination Program - 2001

 

Project No.

Project Purpose

Practices Installed

Conservation Project Dimensions

Pre-Project Condition

Natural Enhancements & Physical Improvements

Permits Involved

Amount of Sediment Reduction

01-001

To restore channel flow to willow riparian forest by removing accumulated sediment. To enhance wildlife habit by providing shelter for red-legged frogs.

Stream Channel Stabilization (584)

Critical Area Planting (342)

Ave. Width 30 ft.

Ave. Depth 6.5 ft

Length: 600 ft

Area: .55 Acres

Avg. width: 2’

Length: 400’ x 2

Stream channel clogged with willows and accumulated sediment from past upland farming.

600 ft. of Stream channel restored to its natural width and depth by removal of agraded sediment that had been transported downstream.

Streambank vegetation replaced by willow cuttings planted in a 2:1 slope. Created habitat for Red-legged Frog in downstream seasonal channel.

USFWS

ACOE

CDFG

RWQCB

CCC

COUNTY

1200 cu. yds. of sediment removed from the channel. One time benefit

 

01-002

To restore channel flow to willow riparian forest by removing accumulated sediment and preventing new agricultural sediment from entering the stream system.

 

None

Proposed:

Stream Channel Stabilization (584)

Ave. Width: 10 ft

Ave. Depth: 3 ft

Length: 300 ft

Proposed:

Grassed Waterway (412) <1acre

 

 

Proposed:

Underground Outlet (620) 1160 ft.

Stream channel clogged with willows, and accumulated sediment from upland farming.

Irrigation water runoff causes accumulated sediment next to farm road.

Underground Outlet is last of 5 outlets to be installed on farm roads to divert agricultural runoff to grassed waterway.

Project carried forward to 2002 due to a delay in final design engineering documents. Owner and grower will cooperate to ensure that needed restoration is completed in 2002.

USFWS

ACOE

CDFG

RWQCB

CCC

COUNTY

N/A

01-003

Retain agricultural sediments and runoff on farm. To restore degraded wetland habitat in native plants.

None

Proposed:

Water and Sediment Control Basin (638)

Proposed:

Critical Area Planting (342)

Irrigation water runoff causes accumulated sediment to be deposited near Mc Clusky Slough wetland area.

Project carried forward to 2002 due to a delay in engineering conservation planning documents.

USFWS

ACOE

CDFG

RWQCB

CCC

COUNTY

N/A

01-004

Retain agricultural sediments and runoff on farm.

Capture and filter out agricultural chemicals.

N/A

Proposed:

Sediment Basin (350) 540 cu yds

Proposed:

Sediment Basin (350) 810 cu yds

Proposed: Grade Stabilization Structure (410)

4 @ 400 ft.

Proposed:

Grassed Waterway

(412) < 1 acre

Rainfall and irrigation water runoff causes gully erosion and sediment accumulates at base of field or is carried into willow riparian corridor.

Project carried forward until 2002 until plans can be made to include avoidance of Monterey Spineflower that is growing on the edge the farm. Grower and project personnel need to agree on project design.

USFWS

CDFG

RWQCB

CCC

COUNTY

N/A

01-005

Retain agricultural sediments and runoff on farm.

Capture and filter out agricultural chemicals.

N/A

Proposed:

Water and Sediment Control Basin (638)

Sediment from steep slopes flows through underground outlet and accumulates in willow-covered area.

Invasive weeds are the predominate cover.

Project carried forward until 2002 until engineering designs are completed.

USFWS

ACOE

CDFG

RWQCB

CCC

COUNTY

N/A

01-006

Retain agricultural sediments and runoff on farm.

Capture and filter out agricultural chemicals.

Water and Sediment

Control Basin (638)

Critical Area Planting (342)

Underground Outlet (620)

Underground Outlet (620)

584 cu. yds.

 

 

 

< 1 acre

 

 

1340 feet long

 

 

1088 feet long

Water and Sediment from steep slopes on Strawberry farm accumulate next to willow-covered area next to San Miguel Canyon Rd,. and are carried downstream in heavy rains. Could cause flooding of the county road if condition persists.

Sediment and water now deposited in basin and prevented from flowing off-site. Critical Area Planting holds compacted soil on berm and covers soil over underground outlets. Outlets transport water to prevent erosion of roadway and release to basin over a rock energy dissipater.

ACOE

RWQCB

CCC

COUNTY

850 cu yds this year.

(750 cu yds of accumulated sediment removed during the construction of the basin One time benefit.

Annual sediment captured 109 cu yds)

01-007

Capture agricultural run-off and transport it to a sediment basin or rock dissipater at the channel bottom

N/A

Proposed:

Underground Outlet

(620) 400 ft

Proposed:

Underground Outlet (620) 500 ft

Steep slopes in strawberry fields cause irrigation water to run off onto farm roads. Sheet and rill erosion and gullies form as a result.

Proposed project carried forward until 2002. Engineering design needs to be completed. Divert runoff into underground outlet that will direct flow under road and into a sediment basin or to a rock energy dissipater at the bottom of the slope. Improve downstream conditions in the lower channel where seasonal stream flows.

USFWS

ACOE

CDFG

RWQCB

CCC

COUNTY

N/A

01-008

To restore channel flow to willow riparian forest by removing accumulated sediment and preventing new agricultural sediment from entering the stream system.

 

N/A

Proposed;

Stream Channel Stabilization (584)

Proposed:

Grass Waterway

(412)

 

Stream channel clogged with willows, and accumulated sediment from upland farming.

 

Irrigation water runoff causes accumulated sediment next to farm road.

Project carried forward to 2002 due to a delay in final design engineering documents. Owner and grower will cooperate to ensure that needed restoration is completed in 2002.

USFWS

ACOE

CDFG

RWQCB

CCC

COUNTY

N/A

01-009

Stabilize eroding upland channel through farm. Reduce sediment loss to county road and Elkhorn Slough wetland.

N/A

Proposed: Underground Outlet

(620)

Steep slopes in strawberry fields cause irrigation water to run off onto farm roads. Sheet and rill erosion and gullies form as a result.

Project carried forward until 2002 due to disagreement on needed engineered design with the grower. Some prior converted wetland will be protected from sediment deposit and runoff from field.

USFWS

ACOE

CDFG

RWQCB

CCC

County

N/A

 

Appendix 2: Status of 1998 , 1999 and 2000 Projects

Resulting from the Permit Coordination Program

 

Project No.

 

Project Purpose

Practices Installed

Natural Enhancements & Physical Improvements

Project Status

Amount of Sediment Reduction in 2000

98-001

Riparian corridor and wetland stabilization and restoration

Stream Channel Stabilization (584)

Critical Area Planting (342)

Corridor restored to original gradient and width.

Swale planted with wetland species.

Wetland habitat enhanced.

Performing as planned.

Owner will repair some minor gullying with willow plantings.

60 cu. yd. prevented from eroding annually

98-002

Retain agricultural sediments and runoff on farm.

Water and Sediment Control Basin (638)

Water and Sediment Control Basin (638)

Unfarmed slopes protected from gully erosion and sediment prevented from entering adjacent creek.

Performing as planned.

144 cu yd. retained annually

98-003

Retain agricultural sediments and runoff on farm.

Water and Sediment Control Basin (638)

Critical Area Planting (342)

Banks of riparian corridor protected from gully erosion and sediment prevented from entering adjacent creek.

Performing as planned.

170 cu. yd. retained annually

98-004

(work performed in 1998)

Stabilize eroding bank of Carneros Creek to prevent downstream sedimentation, flooding and loss of riparian habitat.

Streambank Protection (580)

Critical Area Planting (342)

Streambank stabilized with cribwall at toe and vegetated slope above. Willow root wads in channel bottom relocated to toe of banks to enhance riparian corridor vegetation.

Performing as planned.

Riparian tree species added at top of bank to enhance habitat and create shade to slow spread of willows..

250 cu. yd. of bank erosion prevented annually

98-004

(work performed in 1999)

2nd phase of stabilizing eroding bank of Carneros Creek to prevent downstream sedimentation, flooding and loss of riparian habitat.

Streambank Protection (580)

Critical Area Planting (342)

Streambank stabilized with live willow log cribwall at toe and vegetated slope above. Willow root wads in channel bottom relocated to toe of banks to enhance riparian corridor bank vegetation.

Performing as planned.

Additional stream bank protection and planting may be needed in the future to complete this project

Additional 46 cu. yd. of bank erosion prevented annually

98-005

(work performed in 1999)

Detain agricultural sediments and runoff on farm.

Water and Sediment Control Basin (638)

Agricultural runoff and sediment detained and prevented from causing erosion in forest and transporting sediment into riparian corridor.

Performing as planned.

2001 Update: Basin cleaned of sediment this year and preventative maintenance on riser done.

463 cu. yds. retained annually

98-006

Retain agricultural sediments and runoff on farm.

Water and Sediment Control Basin (638)

No work begun in 1998.

2001 Update: Grower has moved. Project may be assumed by owner in 2002.

No work begun in 1999 or 2000 due to lack of grower interest.

N/A

98-007

Retain agricultural sediments and runoff on farm.

Water and Sediment Control Basin (638)

No work begun in 1998.

Farmer excavated small temporary basin but planned design is waiting on farmer finances.

N/A

98-008

(work performed in 1999)

Retain agricultural sediments and runoff on farm.

Water and Sediment Control Basin (638)

Water and Sediment Control Basin (638)

Underground Outlet (620)

Runoff and agricultural sediment detained and prevented from causing erosion and deposition downstream in wetland.

Performing as planned.

362 cu. yds. retained annually

98-009

Remove sediment from stream channel to improve flow and habitat value

Stream Channel Stabilization (584)

Critical Area Planting (342)

Sediment removed from channel and open water habitat restored. Upland runoff and sediment diverted into vegetated swale to buffer future flow into creek.

Performing as planned.

One time sediment removal in 1998.

 

98-010

Remove sediment from stream channel to improve flow and habitat value.

Stream Channel Stabilization (584)

Critical Area Planting (342)

Sediment removed, banks restored with native vegetation, and stream flow restored. Sediment prevented from moving further downstream into slough.

Performing as planned.

Additional 500 cu.yds. of accumulated sediment removed as maintenance procedure in 2000

One-time sediment removal in 1998.

500 additional cu.yds removed in 2000.

98-011

Remove sediment from stream channel and widen channel to improve flow and habitat value.

Stream Channel Stabilization (584)

Critical Area Planting (342)

Trees and sediment removed, banks restored with native vegetation, and stream flow restored. Sediment prevented from moving further downstream into slough.

Performing as planned.

One-time sediment removal in 1998.

98-012

Remove sediment from stream channel to improve flow and habitat value. Remove old dredge spoils to direct high water into undeveloped flood plain.

Stream Channel Stabilization (584)

Critical Area Planting (342)

Sediment removed, banks restored with native vegetation, and stream flow restored. Old dredge spoil levies breached on south side to direct water away from home and onto wetland flood plain.

Performing as planned.

One-time sediment removal in 1998.

98-013

Remove sediment from stream channel to improve flow and habitat value. Remove old dredge spoils to direct high water into undeveloped flood plain.

Stream Channel Stabilization (584)

Critical Area Planting (342)

Sediment removed, banks restored with vegetation, and stream flow restored. Old dredge spoil levies breached on south side to direct water away from Butler’s barn and onto wetland flood plain.

Performing as planned.

One-time sediment removal in 1998.

98-014

Remove sediment from stream channel to improve flow and habitat value.

Stream Channel Stabilization (584)

Critical Area Planting (342)

Sediment removed, banks restored with vegetation, and stream flow restored. Sediment prevented from moving further downstream into slough.

Performing as planned.

One-time sediment removal in 1998.

98-015

Remove sediment from stream channel to improve flow and habitat value.

Stream Channel Stabilization (584)

Critical Area Planting (342)

Sediment removed, banks restored with vegetation, and stream flow restored. Sediment prevented from moving further downstream into slough.

Performing as planned.

One-time sediment removal in 1998.

98-016

Remove sediment from stream channel to improve flow and habitat value.

Stream Channel Stabilization (584)

 

Sediment removed, existing bank vegetation left undisturbed and stream flow restored. Sediment prevented from moving further downstream into slough.

Performing as planned.

One-time sediment removal in 1998.

98-017

Remove sediment from stream channel to improve flow and habitat value.

Stream Channel Stabilization (584)

 

Sediment removed to create a sediment trap, existing bank vegetation left undisturbed and stream flow restored. Sediment prevented from moving further downstream into slough.

Performing as planned.

One-time sediment removal in 1998.

98-018

Create overflow routes for flood water to divert sediment onto flood plain rather than downstream to slough to improve flow and habitat value in stream.

Stream Channel Stabilization (584)

Streambank Protection (580)

Old stream-side spoil piles breached in two locations, channel graded to allow peak flows and sediment to enter flood plain, Floodplain hydrology restored and sand trapped on plain away from stream.

Performing as planned.

Log jam in main channel was broken up during project maintenance at end of flood season to allow low flows back into stream channel. Annual maintenance conducted to remove accumulated sediment.

3000cu. yds. of new sediment captured off-stream in 2000.

98-019

Retain agricultural sediments and runoff on farm and restore slough bank vegetation.

Water and Sediment Control Basin (638)

Streambank Protection (580)

Sediment basin retains agricultural sediment and buffers agricultural runoff. Bank will be established with perennial native vegetation to create upland habitat for amphibians and reduce weed problem for farm.

Performing as planned.

Creeping wild rye establishing well under annual mowing.

333 cu. yd. of sediment annually prevented from entering slough.

99-001

Gully stabilization, and protection of oak trees and agricultural land from erosion.

Streambank Protection (580)

 

Grade Stabilization Structure (410)

Sediment loss from head-cutting stopped and willow trees planted to stabilize banks and restore riparian vegetation.

2001 Update: Farmer approved for EQIP costsharing to repair the project. New engineering design is being done in 2002.

A temporary plastic lining was installed in November 2000 to prevent further damage. Project may require new permit review if additional practices are required.

300 cu. yds. Sediment prevented from headcutting annually.

99-002

(see also work performed under

99-007)

Remove eroded sediment from stream channel and reestablish channel to improve flow and habitat value.

Stream Channel Stabilization (584)

Critical Area Planting (342)

Sediment removed, banks restored with native vegetation, and stream flow restored. Sediment prevented from moving further downstream into slough.

Performing as planned.

 

One time sediment removal in 1999.

99-003

 

Prevent cropland erosion and detain runoff and capture eroded sediment midfield.

Water and Sediment Control Basin (638)

 

 

Water and Sediment Control Basin (638)

 

Underground Outlet (620)

Field erosion reduced with proper furrow alignment. Gully erosion reduced by seeding roads with grass and installing underground outlets. Remaining erosion trapped in two sediment basins. Sediment effectively prevented from entering creek and wetland downstream.

Performing as planned.

810 cu yd. retained annually

99-004

(see also work performed under

98-004)

Stabilize creek bed and insure potential fish passage along Carneros Creek.

 

 

4 Grade Stabilization Structures (410)

Erosion and transport of soil from stream bottom and banks reduced and native riparian corridor vegetation restored.

Performing as planned.

Three boulders shifted downstream in peak flow in 2000and still need to be reinstalled by owner.

 

67 cu. yds. streambed scour prevented annually.

99-005

Remove eroded sediment from stream channel and reestablish channel to improve flow. Multi-year plan calls for detaining soil on adjacent farmland with upland practices so that channel can be restored.

Stream Channel Stabilization (584)

 

Accumulated sediment removed upstream from natural vegetated filter thereby increasing capacity of valley to detain future sediment. Also prevented soil from moving further downstream into slough. Temporary erosion grasses established on streambank this year.

Land owners requested that project be removed from Permit Coordination Program and have been informed that they are now responsible for obtaining necessary permits.

One-time sediment removal in 1999.

Additional sediment reduction anticipated but not under the coverage of the Permit Coordination Program.

99-007

(see also work performed under

98-002)

Detain agricultural sediments and runoff on farm and slow runoff to restored riparian corridor.

Water and Sediment Control Basin (638)

 

Runoff and agricultural sediment detained in basin, swale was reshaped, and riparian corridor downstream protected.

Performing as planned after repairs and expansion of basin in 2000.

 

300 cu.yds retained annually in basin after expansion.

Annual reduction of 185 cu.yds. annually from outlet gully.

00-001

Widen channelized reach of Carneros Creek to provide flood plain terrace and reduce flooding hazard and bank erosion.

N/A

2001 Update-No action taken by grower to install designed practices

Project carried forward to 2002 due to delay in final design hydrology documents. Project originally carried forward to 2001 due to delay in final design hydrology documents.

N/A

00-002

Repair of breached dam on existing pond to achieve runoff and sediment detention capacity and improve seasonal wetland habitat.

N/A

2001 Update: No action taken by the grower to install practices.

Project on hold since property may be sold.

N/A

00-003

Restore channel flow to willow riparian forest by removing accumulated sediment and preventing new agricultural sediment from entering stream system. Off stream grassed waterways will be built to collect and filter agricultural runoff prior to release into stream.

Stream Channel Stabilization (584)

 

 

 

Open channel flow in 900 feet of willow riparian corridor restored. Sediment prevented from washing downstream into Moro Cojo Slough. Sediment damage to roads and property downstream prevented.

Performing as planned with minor maintenance to remove sprouting willows in channel bottom.

Grassed waterways and 800' of remaining channel stabilization will be completed in 2002.

One time sediment removal in 2000.

00-004

Stabilization of 15 foot deep gully actively head-cutting into grassland swale within oak woodland.

Critical Area Planting (342)

Grade Stabilization Structure (410)

5 Grade Stabilization Structures (410)

Critical Area Planting (342)

Sediment loss from head-cutting stopped with drop pipe grade control structure. Grassland swale created upstream in place of eroded channel. Reduced delivery of sediment to willow riparian habitat downstream.

Performing as planned

100 cu. yds. sediment prevented from eroding annually.

 

 

Photo Documentation

Stream Channel Stabilization Project (01-001)

This photograph shows the upper end of the project reach prior to sediment removal. Eroded sediment from poorly managed strawberry fields had accumulated in the historic channel during the past 20 years. The accumulated sediment was in transport during winter storm events towards a seasonal freshwater wetland at the end of the stream channel. Young willows were in the process of colonizing the sand.

Most of the agricultural land upstream has been restored in the past five years to native grassland and erosion has been drastically reduced. The project required removal of some willows less than 6 inches dbh to provide access for sand removal equipment. This project provided a one-time benefit by removing and preventing 1200 cubic yards from entering wetlands in the watershed.

View of project after channel cross section was restored. Area 1 is a 2:1 side slope, armored with woody debris that was generated during the removal of willows. Area 2 is an emergency repair of plastic sheeting that was installed at the end of December 2001 to control channel incision and widening. Project design included two areas where the streamflow was allowed to drop over a 5:1 slope. Erosion of these slopes was expected to be minimal, because the channel was designed so that water would pond below these slopes to dissipate the energy of the water flowing down them. Living willow root masses were left in place at the top of the slope to further stabilize it. However, an early, heavy storm generated significant runoff before water had ponded around the toes of the slopes, and the slopes were eroded to form two channels 5 feet wide, 3 feet deep and 15 feet long. An illustration of this erosion is depicted on the next page.

 

 

Schematic illustration of erosion of the stream profile project (01-001). Eroding slopes will be stabilized during the summer of 2002. Drawing not to scale. Channel profile and pictures provided by Bryan Largay, RCDMC

Looking downstream at the stabilized streambank. Woody debris generated by clearing willows prior to sand excavation floats in the ponded area and lines the banks, providing habitat for amphibians.

Water and Sediment Control Basin (01-006)

 

Overview of the area before the water and sediment control basin was constructed near San Miguel Canyon Rd. Willows had colonized in the area where irrigation water drains to a low point in the field. Sediment accumulates at the bottom of the slope on the farm road. During large storms this sediment was carried down the county road side ditch across neighboring properties.

Water and Sediment Control Basin shortly after construction was completed in 2001, and after the berm was planted with an erosion control grass mixture as the Critical Area Planting. Note the standing water from irrigation and storm event in December 2001. The energy dissapater from the underground outlet (not shown) allows water and sediment to enter the basin without eroding the cut bank.

 

View of contruction of the sediment basin and the underground outlet that approaches the basin on the right side. The two underground outlets join midway up the slope and collect irrigation water runoff from the field roads and deposit it in the basin.

Installation of underground outlet pipe showing riser pipes that collect runoff from crop furrows at regular intervals along the farm road. This practice prevents runoff from causing gullies on roads and carrying sediment to the base of the hill and beyond.

Maintenance Activities

NRCS and the RCD maintain annual contact with landowners and growers following completion of conservation practices. The following pictures show the condition of some of the practices installed in previous years.