Tribe Signs Pact With California to Work Together on Efforts to Save Endangered Salmon

A California tribe has signed agreements with state and federal agencies to work together on efforts to return endangered Chinook salmon to their traditional spawning areas upstream of Shasta Dam, a deal that could advance the long-standing goal of tribal leaders to reintroduce fish that were transplanted from California to New Zealand more than a century ago and still thrive there.

San Diego County Supervisors OK Tijuana River Park Project Near Nestor

The county Board of Supervisors Wednesday unanimously approved an improvement project for the Tijuana River Valley Regional Park that includes adding seven acres of native vegetation.

The proposed project will also include the removal of four dilapidated structures.

Multiagency Deal Aims to Address Salton Sea

The cavalry is coming, so to speak, in the form of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which entered into a feasibility study agreement with local and state government agencies to find shovel-ready solutions for saving the Salton Sea.

The significance of the collaboration was highlighted at a signing ceremony held at the North Shores Beach and Yacht Club near Mecca on Friday, Dec. 16, where the Salton Sea Authority, California Natural Resources Agency, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers entered into the Imperial Streams Salton Sea Feasibility Cost-Share Agreement, which will develop and propose solutions to save the ever-receding Salton Sea.

Rep. Ruiz Sends Letters to IID & FWS Regarding the Red Hill Project at the Salton Sea

Congressman Raul Ruiz, M.D. tells News Channel 3 exclusively that his office has sent letters to Fish and Wildlife Service and Imperial Irrigation District in regards to the Red Hill Bay Project at the Salton Sea.

The joint effort between IID and FWS broke ground in 2015, but has yet to be completed.

It was designed to create over 600 acres of shallow saline ponds by mixing water from the Salton Sea and the Alamo River. These new ponds would faciliate a new habitat for birds, while also preventing dust from emerging into the air.

Restricted Season likely with Poor Sacramento and Klamath River Salmon Abundance

A forecast of relatively low numbers of Sacramento and Klamath River fall Chinook salmon now swimming in the ocean off the California coast points to restricted ocean and river salmon fishing seasons in 2021.

State and federal fishery managers during the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s salmon fishery information on-line meeting on February 25 forecast an ocean abundance this year of 271,000 adult Sacramento Valley fall Chinook salmon, about 200,000 fish lower than the 2020 estimate.

Will California Finally Fulfill its Promise to Fix the Salton Sea?

Red flags flutter outside the schools in Salton City, California, when the air quality is dangerous. Dust billows across the desert, blanketing playgrounds and baseball diamonds, the swirling grit canceling recess and forcing students indoors. Visibility is so poor you can’t see down the block. Those days worry Miriam Juarez the most.

In a First, California Considers Allowing Housing Project on San Diego Ecological Reserve

Normally, sitting on the California Wildlife Conservation Board is a feel-good job, mostly consisting of unanimously approving millions in state dollars to protect natural habitats, from mountain meadows in Lassen County to lagoons in Newport Beach.

Over $10 Million Granted to Preserve Salmon in California

Over $10 million in grants was awarded to 27 projects dedicated to benefiting the state’s salmon habitats, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife announced this week. The grants, amounting to $10.7 million, were awarded through the agency’s Fisheries Restoration Grant Program for the restoration, enhancement and protection of anadromous salmonid habitats, and to reverse the declines of Pacific salmon and steelhead throughout California and surrounding states.

Recycled water-Olivenhain Municipal Water District-APWA-collaboration

Olivenhain Municipal Water District Recycled Water Expansion Project is Project of the Year

Olivenhain Municipal Water District’s Recycled Water Pipeline Extension 153A was recognized September 10 as a 2020 Project of the Year by the San Diego and Imperial County Chapter of the American Public Works Association at its virtual awards event.

The pipeline extension connected the Surf Cup Sports youth soccer fields in San Diego to OMWD’s recycled water distribution system. By allowing Surf Cup to convert the irrigation of 55 acres of grass fields to recycled water, OMWD has reduced potable water demands for irrigation by up to 100 million gallons per year.

“OMWD’s board is honored to receive this award for a collaborative project, which expanded the use of recycled water while protecting the environment,” said OMWD Board Treasurer Larry Watt. “Additionally, state grant funding helped pay for the project, reducing costs for our ratepayers.”

Project of the Year will save up to 100 million gallons of potable water annually

The project involved the installation of 1,600 feet of 8-inch PVC pipeline that required specialized drilling and interagency cooperation to be completed. The pipeline needed to cross the San Dieguito River, causing design, permitting, and construction obstacles. OMWD’s design team used horizontal directional drilling to install the pipeline more than sixty feet below the river bottom.

Horizontal directional drilling reduces not only surface area damage, but also environmental impacts from construction site dust, making it less impactful to nearby habitat and communities than traditional excavation work.

Interagency cooperation benefits wildlife

OMWD worked with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife on a streambed alteration agreement to ensure the protection of fish and wildlife habitat. OMWD also worked with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to protect nesting birds such as the federally listed clapper rail and barn owl.

By OMWD taking proactive steps, such as daily biological sweeps of the project and inspections of the trenchless process, there was no adverse impact to habitat or species in the project area.

City of San Diego, Santa Fe Irrigation District collaboration with OMWD

Interagency cooperation was also required for the project. The property is served water by Santa Fe Irrigation District and owned by the City of San Diego. While SFID did not have nearby recycled water infrastructure, it wanted to provide Surf Cup fields with a drought-resilient water supply. The OMWD pipeline project meets that need.  The San Diego City Council approved a permanent utility easement allowing crews to access the property.

Grant funds support regional water management efforts

California’s Department of Water Resources awarded $202,300 for the project in Proposition 84 funding, which is administered by water wholesaler San Diego County Water Authority through the Integrated Regional Water Management program. The San Diego IRWM Program supports collaborative water management to increase regional self-reliance throughout California.

APWA is a professional association of public works agencies, private companies, and individuals dedicated to promoting public awareness through education, advocacy, and the exchange of knowledge. The APWA San Diego and Imperial County chapter annually recognizes the best public works projects and professionals in San Diego and Imperial Counties. The Project of the Year award is also intended to highlight the collaboration and cooperation between public and private agencies, contractors, and consultants, to complete public works projects.

Opinion: Despite Unprecedented Times, Natural Resources Should Remain Important to the Legislature

As if a global pandemic was not enough, the tumultuous legislative session comes to a close as much of the state is on fire. Understandably, lawmakers had already significantly pared down their legislative packages to focus on a response to COVID-19. And, then last week many important bills on environmental justice and natural resources stalled.