Environmental Services Sacramento River Bank Protection Project Levee Design

The Sacramento River has a history of flooding due to severe storms and levee failures. The damaging and costly results prompted large-scale levee improvement projects throughout the region. Under the authorization of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Sacramento River Bank Protection Project (SRBPP) was designed to evaluate the levees bordering the river and reduce stream bank erosion along them to minimize the threat of a flood along the Sacramento River. Specialists worked with a team of planners and engineers to determine the significance of erosion sites on the Sacramento River and its tributaries, and possible complications associated with their eventual repair.

 Project Managers prepared riparian restoration designs and specifications for the 21 erosion sites. Project sites ranged from delta islands to levees in urban Sacramento. Biologists supported the project engineers in several tasks, including habitat evaluations, public outreach, and consultation with state and federal agencies. Important factors in the designs included placement of instream woody material, and replacement of shaded riverine aquatic habitat to meet National Marine Fisheries Service mitigation requirements. 

Other tasks included:

•             Guidance on meeting regulatory requirements

•             Agency consultation, especially to design repair sites that incorporated habitat for the giant garter snake, while avoiding   negative impacts to state and federally listed fish species

•             Tract register for each repair site

Planners coordinated with engineering staff to avoid, or mitigate for, potential impacts and worked in coordination with the United States Army Corps of Engineers and several regulatory agencies.