River Partners' mission is to create wildlife habitat for the benefit of people and the environment.

  
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Riparian Sanctuary

What's New?

Phase II, funded by the Department of Fish and Game and the California Bay-Delta Authority, is underway. To date, several studies have been completed to evaluate project alternatives, including the collection of new bathymetry data and updating the hydraulic model, a revision of the channel meander model that incorporated variable flow algorithms, geotechnical investigation, and a survey of the biological resources.  Draft design alternatives have been developed and work on the environmental compliance documents has been initiated. River Partners will be working with project proponents, US Fish and Wildlife Service and Princeton-Codora-Glenn and Provident Irrigation Districts (PCGID-PID), stakeholders, members of the public and the Riparian Sanctuary Technical Advisory Committee to complete the project design and environmental compliance by March 31, 2013.

Project Overview

River Partners, in cooperation with the US Fish and Wildlife Service and Princeton-Cordora-Glenn and Provident Irrigation Districts (PCGID-PID), secured funding from a CALFED grant to investigate the feasibility of restoration and other management options on the

Pumping Plant, River Partners
PCGID-PID fish screen and pumping plant

950 acres of the Riparian Sanctuary Unit, part of the Sacramento River National Wildlife Refuge (SRNWR) Llano Seco Unit. The project includes the development of feasibility studies for restoration options for the Riparian Sanctuary and measures to protect the PCGID-PID pumping plant and fish screen facility. The planning effort also includes development of a long-term Interdisciplinary Monitoring Plan to build in an experimental design to examine important questions regarding restoration. These planning efforts represent a major step toward allowing the Riparian Sanctuary to meet its full ecological potential, minimizing ecosystem impacts from the pumping plant and anadromous fish screen protection measures, and providing data to make sound floodplain management decisions on future sites.

Picture of Island restoration, River Partners
Deposition and erosion adjacent to the USFWS, Riparian Sanctuary

To address the complex and potentially controversial issues associated with restoration and facility protection options, the project employed an open, science-based process to educate stakeholders and foster consensus for solutions. The project has successfully yielded promising solutions that meet multiple objectives and has garnered support to further investigate these solutions. As feasibility level studies Phase I only allowed for the screening of solutions and more detailed analyses are needed before implementation can proceed. The project has support from a diverse coalition of agricultural and environmental interests, and exemplifies the progress possible when sound partnerships and science come together to evaluate options to meet multiple goals.

Phase I was completed in 2006.

Aerial photograph of the USFWS, Llano Seco Riparian Sanctuary
Aerial photograph of the USFWS, Llano Seco Riparian Sanctuary - click to enlarge

Phase II:
The planning efforts in 2005 (Phase I) represented a major step toward allowing the Riparian Sanctuary to meet its full ecological potential, minimizing ecosystem impacts from the pumping plant and anadromous fish screen protection measures, and providing data to making sound floodplain management decisions on future sites. Current planning (Phase II) is funded by the Department of Fish and Game and the California Bay-Delta Authority. Phase II is focused on obtaining updated bathymetry and topographic mapping, performing a geotechnical investigation, conducting biological surveys and monitoring, developing hydraulic and meander evaluations, developing appropriate environmental compliance and permitting documents and designing measures to protect the pumping plant.

Currently, River Partners is working with North State Resources (NSR) to prepare the environmental documentation necessary for CEQA and NEPA compliance. Public input will be obtained during the May 2011 scoping meeting.  During this meeting, River Partners and NSR will present recommended project alternatives (e.g. bank protection alternatives, habitat restoration).

Phase III will involve project implementation.
See Historic River Channels.