Santa Clara River Estuary Feasibility

Biological Expertise for Restoration and Enhancement Options within the Santa Clara River Estuary.

WRA worked with cbec eco engineering on the identification and planning of restoration and enhancement options within the Santa Clara River Estuary (SCRE).  The recently completed restoration work was part of a state grant from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and administered through the Wishtoyo Foundation (Chumash Native American Tribe).  The grant was targeted for the recovery of the Southern California Distinct Population Segment of steelhead, and identified potential restoration and enhancement options within the lower portion of the Santa Clara River.  In addition to steelhead, restoration options also looked to enhance habitat for protected species found within the SCRE including tidewater goby, California least tern, and Western snowy plover.

WRA staff provided biological expertise for the development and feasibility planning of the two potential restoration options for the SCRE. WRA staff completed a series of field survey work and two technical reports identifying the existing biological condition of the SCRE.  One report focused on the identification of sensitive plants, animals, and habitat types; while the second served as a wetland delineation.  Following the completion of the existing condition report, a multiagency and public working meeting was held to identify potential restoration approaches for the SCRE.  WRA also worked with cbec to model and evaluate restoration approaches identified for the area.  The feasibility analysis presented one preferred restoration approach, intended to benefit steelhead and native aquatic species, while balancing the needs of threatened and endangered wildlife and plants at the site.

Goals

  • Identify options to recover the Southern California Distinct Population Segment of steelhead
  • Identify potential restoration and enhancement options within the lower portion of the Santa Clara River for protected species

Deliverables

  • Field surveys
  • Restoration and Enhancement Feasibility Study chapters including sensitive species and wetland delineation