Meadow Creek Lagoon Habitat Restoration Project
The Meadow Creek Habitat Restoration project is intended to restore connectivity between Arroyo Grande Creek and Meadow Creek Lagoon systems to a more natural coastal condition increasing passage and enhanced habitat for growth and survival of smolt and rearing steelhead. The project will include the completion of a Hydraulic Analysis and an Engineering Alternatives Study. It will follow with the selection of a preferred alternative, engineering design and environmental review. Most recently, the District has been working with Stillwater Consulting to run modeling simulations of two project alternatives for restoring habitat in Meadow Creek and Arroyo Grande Creek Lagoons. The consultant has not completed all the modeling runs yet and is responding to questions the District had about some of the preliminary results. Staff anticipate having the full set of modeling results later this fall, which may require another round of District review. An update will be provided at the next meeting in January and a presentation of the model results will be provided when complete.
Storm Response Efforts
Arroyo Grande Creek Channel Emergency Capacity Restoration Phase 1 Project
The Phase I AG Creek Project is intended to address the flow characteristics of the Arroyo Grande Creek Channel through vegetation and sediment removal to restore capacity and flood protection to the surrounding community to pre-2022-2023 Winter Storms conditions. Construction has begun this September at the western end of the Arroyo Grande Creek Channel. The project scope includes excavation of approximately 11,100 cubic yards of storm deposited debris and sediment and is anticipated to end early November. Work will continue from the South Levee downstream of the UPRR bridge and crews will switch to the North Levee after excavation of sediment management zones 1, 2, 5, and 6.
Arroyo Grande Creek Channel Emergency Levee Rehabilitation Phase 2 Project
The District began advertising for bids for the AG Creek Phase 2A project on September 14th, 2023. The scope of work includes re-grading of the South Levee outer slopes and repair of approximately 3,000 square yards of turf reinforcing mat from Creek Road to just downstream of the UPRR bridge. Work is anticipated to begin early November.
Staff is finalizing plans and specifications with its consultants for the AG Creek Phase 2B project, which will consist of construction of hydraulic barrier walls in the levees to protect from future seepage and erosional damages. Staff anticipates construction into the winter pending future weather conditions.
Annual Workplan Efforts
District staff and its consultant team began annual woody vegetation maintenance on September 5th, 2023, to removed fallen trees and debris in the low flow channel throughout the channel. Work started on the western end of the channel and will continue upstream until its completion in October.
Emergency Response Plan
Staff is preparing an interim update to the Emergency Response Plan for the next storm season to incorporate any lessons learned and to provide protocols should storms happen before, during or after construction of Phase I and/or Phase II efforts.Preparation efforts include training response personnel on various scenarios, purchasing and staging response materials, identifying balanced emergency notification triggers, calibrating field gages and setting up contracts in advance with emergency response contractors to the extent feasible.A more comprehensive update of the Plan will be prepared as needed after construction is complete.
Other Flood Protection Planning Efforts
On August 4, 2023, District Staff submitted a complete application through the California Office of Emergency Services Hazard Mitigation Grant Program for advance assistance grant funding to evaluate alternatives for flood easements and/or other off-channel flood protection measures. Note that this program is very impacted and competitive due to the extend of storm impacts throughout California, and a different grant funding program may need to be pursued in the future for this effort.
Staff also submitted a Letter of Interest to the Natural Resource Conservation Services (NRCS) requesting funding via the Emergency Watershed Protection Program. Staff is coordinating with NRCS staff to understand eligibility requirements for a potential project to purchase and remove vulnerable structures from the flood plain on a voluntary basis.
Staff is coordinating with members of the Arroyo Grande Creek and Watershed Memorandum of Understanding agreement to look at how to sustainably fund ongoing operation and maintenance of planned flood management projects with source sediment reduction benefits in the Corbett and Tally Ho Creek sub-watershed. This area contributes to the sediment load in Arroyo Grande Creek.