Water Resource Collections and Archives


The Eighth Annual Berkeley River Restoration Symposium

The Eighth Annual Berkeley River Restoration Symposium

Saturday 3 December 2011
112 Wurster Hall
University of California, Berkeley

Save the date Saturday 03 December 2011 (9a-4p) for the 8th annual Berkeley River Restoration Symposium. Graduate-student research presentations, panel of professionals, and keynote talk by Hervé Piégay, well-known fluvial geomorphologist in Lyon, France: “River restoration in human-modified landscapes”

The symposium is free but advance registration is required to receive a copy of the program/abstracts and refreshments. Further detail forthcoming. See http://library.ucr.edu/wrca/restoration/la227_2011.ht ml for further information as available. Questions: contact Raymond Wong ucbriverrestoration@gmail.com

View Program (PDF) - Updated 12/2/2011


Opening Remarks
0900: Matt Kondolf and Phil Williams, Co-Instructors, Restoration of Rivers and Streams

0910: River Restoration in Human-Modified Landscape (Hervé Piégay)

Student Research Presentations (Moderator: Bethany Hackenjos)
1000: The Engaging Students in Stream Stewardship: A case study on the University of California, Berkeley’s Strawberry Creek (Alexander Javier, Darryl Jones, Sara Rose Tannenbaum)

1020: Post-Project Assessment of the 2003 Cerrito Creek Restoration and Recommendations for Additional Stormwater Management (Michelle Adlong, Michael Cook, Matt Kennedy)

1040: Break

1100: Post-project performance of a multi-phase urban stream restoration project (Mia Docto, Johanna Hoffman, Scott Walls)

1120: Evaluating a protocol for determining minimum water levels to prevent fish stranding in the Russian River Watershed (David Hines, Emma Kohlsmith, Sammy Kayed)

1140: Implications of Reconnecting Spring Branch Creek to Suisun Marsh: Predicting the Fate of Federally Listed Soft Bird’s Beak (Jessie Olson)

1200: Lunch

Symposia Preview
1300: Preview floodplain and Three Gorges Dam symposia in Spring 2012 (Phil Williams)

Student Research Presentations (cont) (Moderator: Bethany Hackenjos)
1320: Post-Project Evaluation of Channel Morphology, Invasive Species, and Native Fish Habitat in Putah Creek (Gina Blackledge, Gabrielle Boisrame, David Pope)

1340: Effects of a livestock exclosures on channel morphology and vegetation along Long Creek in Lake County, Oregon (Carolyn Doehring, Zan Rubin, Rashmi Sahai)

1400: Saeltzer Dam Removal on Clear Creek: A post-dam removal assessment of geomorphic adjustment and bank stabilization (Crystal Simons, Katelyn Walker, Mark Zimring)

1420: Panel Discussion (Moderator: Raymond Wong) Panelists: Matt Deitch, Hervé Piégay, Joe Seto

1530: Adjourn


Hervé Piégay is a Research Director at CNRS (National Center of Scientific Research), working at ENS of Lyon (Ecole Normale Superieure). He is a specialist in fluvial geomorphology with a focus on river restoration and management. He is Principal Investigator for one of the biggest restoration projects ongoing in Europe: a French-German project for the redynamisation of the Rhine downstream from the Swiss border. He also has long experience on restoration monitoring on the Rhône and some of its tributaries. He is a co-editor with Matt Kondolf of the book Tools in Fluvial Geomorphology, and author of 90 peer-reviewed papers.

Cathy Avila has over 25 years of professional experience in the hydrology, hydraulics, scour analysis and scour mitigation fields.  She is a licensed civil engineer in California, Oregon and Nevada and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering and a Master’s degree in Civil Engineering and Business Management.   Cathy is the President of Avila and Associates Consulting Engineers, which provides Civil and Environmental Consulting Services.  Cathy’s specialty is providing bridge hydraulics and scour analysis for State and Local Agencies with particular interest in mitigating the impact of in-stream gravel mining on bridges.

Matt Deitch is Senior Environmental Scientist with the Center for Ecosystem Management and Restoration (CEMAR) in Oakland, CA, where he directs CEMAR’s Conservation Hydrology program.  His work focuses on the scientific components of projects to restore streamflow in coastal California streams, with an overarching goal of restoring healthy salmonid populations in coastal California watersheds.  Dr. Deitch received his PhD in Environmental Planning at UC Berkeley in 2006 and was Instructor for the LA222 Hydrology for Planners class in spring 2011. 

Karen Rippey is a project manager for the San Francisco District Program and Project Management Division.  Karen Rippey has been with the USACE for 15 years.  Her experience is with Planning, Environmental Restoration, Dredging and other Civil Works programs.  Karen has MS degrees in Architecture and Planning with an emphasis in environmental sustainability.   

Joe Setocurrently works for Zone 7 of Alameda County Flood Control and Water Conservation District as a Principal Civil Engineer in the Flood Control Engineering Department.  Zone 7 manages regional flood protection in eastern Alameda County (i.e., Livermore-Pleasanton-Dublin area).  In addition to planning and implementing capital projects, it operates and maintains 37 miles of agency-owned drainage channels and facilities within a 425-square-mile area.  Zone 7 also reviews new developments for their drainage impacts and serves as a flood protection resource to other public agencies and private landowners.  Joe has been with Zone 7 since 1987.  He received his Bachelor's Degree in Civil Engineering from Cal in 1985 and is a Registered Civil Engineer.

Phil Williams has been engaged in a wide range of national and international hydrologic and engineering hydraulics activities since he received his Ph.D. in 1970. In 1976, after working in civil engineering and environmental planning firms, he opened his own consulting practice in San Francisco, expanding to form Philip Williams & Associates in 1979. During the past three decades the focus of his work has been assisting clients in developing integrated engineering, geomorphology and natural resource management solutions to contemporary problems in river and estuary management. From his original research field of sediment hydraulics, Dr. Williams has pioneered practical technical analyses in wetland hydrology, multi-objective river corridor management, lake water balances, urban creek restoration, the impacts of climate change, the hydraulics of coastal lagoons, dam impacts on river systems, and estuarine resource management. His work has addressed a wide variety of problems, including flood hazard management, salt marsh restoration, reservoir operation, harbor maintenance dredging, floodplain restoration, watershed sediment yield, groundwater management, and coastal lagoon restoration.

The majority of Dr. Williams’ work has been leading or participating in multi-objective planning, design and adaptive management projects working in inter-disciplinary teams with professionals of other disciplines to prepare feasibility studies, management plans, and environmental impact studies. Over the last 30 years he has directed more than 400 such studies, including projects on flood control, wetland restoration, floodplain restoration, national park plans, water resources development, and estuarine management plans.

Matt Kondolf is a fluvial geomorphologist and environmental planner, specializing in environmental river management and restoration. He is Professor of Environmental Planning at the University of California, Berkeley, where he teaches courses in hydrology, river restoration, environmental science, and Mediterranean-climate landscapes, and serves as Chair of the Department of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning. He is currently the Clarke Scholar at the Institute for Water Resources of the US Army Corps of Engineers in Washington, and formerly served on the Environmental Advisory Board to the Chief of the Corps.  Professor Kondolf lectures and teaches shortcourses on river restoration in various countries.


Students as Stewards: Student Engagement with Strawberry Creek at the University of California, Berkeley (Alexander Javier, Darryl Jones, Sara Rose Tannenbaum)

In “The Urban Stream Synydrome”, Walsh et. al. recognize the “challenge” of, “engaging... urban areas to achieve a shared understanding of what is achievable/desirable to communities for their local streams,” (716). Additionally, current research on stream restoration projects in the San Francisco Bay Area indicate that ‘volunteerism’ and community involvement have been factors in the success of several recent projects in the region (Chanse. 2011), including Strawberry Creek in Berkeley. Our study attempts to address this issue of engagement by assessing how different methods of engaging volunteers on Berkeley’s campus impact their enthusiasm for stewardship, such as willingness to participate in future on or off-campus restoration events.Four hypotheses guided us in this study:• Involvement in academic work, such as courses and lectures, is the leading means of exposing students to stream restoration work on the U.C Berkeley campus.• The requirements of coursework and research guarantee stewardship at the institutional level, but not necessarily at the individual level.• While other factors, such as living proximity and prior exposure, may also lead to engagement and enthusiasm, institutionalized exposure is a stronger catalyst for stewardship.• Students’ current engagement and enthusiasm for participating in future restoration activities can be used as proxies for measuring successful stewardship.

By cross-correlating 121 undergraduate students’ answers (spread across three experimental groups selected for their proximity to Strawberry Creek or participation in the student-led restoration class, and one randomly selected control group) to questions about their:

(a) past exposure to streams and/or restoration projects 
(b) current exposure to streams/involvement with restoration projects; and
(c) enthusiasm for stream stewardship,

We found that, while students who are part of institutionalized on-campus restoration efforts displayed a stronger watershed understanding, those who actually lived on the creek were more likely to have participated a restoration event (15% versus 46%, respectively). We also discovered that, while 24 percent of students had participated in a creek clean-up, and between 13 and 16% had had lectures, research, or field trip involving the Creek, only one percent have taken the student-led class, calling to question the effectiveness of this aspect of UC Berkeley’s outreach. Finally, we also observed trends in motivation for stewardship, where greater than 60% of all students, cited civic or environmental duty as their reason for engagement, indicating a potential for empathetic enlistment. This information has potential value for stream management/restoration entities to improve outreach and widen the circle of individuals aware of the issues surrounding urban streams and willing to become stream stewards to address those issues

Post-Project Assessment of the 2003 Cerrito Creek Restoration and Recommendations for Additional Stormwater Management (Michelle Adlong, Michael Cook, Matt Kennedy)

A 750-foot-long daylighted reach of Cerrito Creek defines the southern border of the 29-acre El Cerrito Plaza shopping center and receives a majority of the Plaza’s stormwater runoff. In 2003, this reach, between Talbot and Kains Avenues, underwent a restoration project that widened, re-graded and re-vegetated the channel as well as added a gravel pedestrian path parallel to the stream. The project was completed while the shopping center and parking lot underwent a major renovation. In this study, we assessed current creek conditions and compared them to the original project design as well as a 2005 post-project assessment, completed two years after the restoration project was finished. We found evidence of minor channel incision since 2005, an increase in the number of gravel bars, and an increase in the diversity of sediment size. Native vegetation planted during the restoration appeared to be flourishing, although we documented a few invasive species that have established as well. Although the creek restoration was successful at creating wildlife habitat and a new amenity for the public, it did not adequately address the treatment of stormwater, raising concerns about the impacts of potentially harmful urban runoff on creek water quality. We considered options to retrofit stormwater management infrastructure and concluded that flow- through bioretention structures such as sand filters, basins, or planters would be most feasible based on the local soil conditions and available land area. We also recommend that Cerrito Creek be daylighted for another 450 feet upstream of Talbot Avenue to extend human access to the creek, create additional riparian habitat, and increase pedestrian connectivity from the Ohlone Greenway to San Pablo Avenue.

Post-project performance of a multi-phase urban stream restoration project (Mia Docto, Johanna Hoffman, Scott Walls)

In Fall 2010, a partnership comprising the University of California-Berkeley and the cities of Albany and Berkeley completed the third of four restoration phases planned for a 0.6 mile stretch of Codornices Creek between the San Pablo Avenue and UPRR crossings. Originally initiated in the mid-1990s to improve a straightened and channelized ditch, the project objectives were to convey the 100-yr flood, improve human access to the creek, and establish an ecologically valuable riparian corridor dominated by native species (reducing invasive non-natives). We assessed the performance of this reach during a high flow of 134 cfs on October 5, 2011. We obtained relevant data and project information from project designers, and on October 6th, 2011, while evidence of the flood was still fresh, we conducted a detailed topographic survey of the channel and high water marks, documented conditions with photo points, surveyed vegetation, and mapped facies. In addition, we measured cross sections and high water marks in adjacent reaches (Phases 1 and 2 of the overall restoration project). Our longitudinal profile showed the Phase 3 thalweg incised up to 2 ft below the design grade in the upstream portions of the reach, and aggraded up to 2 ft at the downstream end. Exposed clay hardpan at the upstream end and a plug of coarse sediment at the downstream culvert support this observation. These data confirm additional channel adjustment occurred during the October 5 event. High water marks show floodplain inundation is inconsistent throughout the4three reaches, with Phase 3 largely staying within its constructed banks, while overbank flow occurred in Phases 1 and 2. We documented non-native watercress (Nusturtium aquaticum) throughout Phase 3, evidently affecting bed mobility at certain locations. Phase 3 appears to be in the process of seeking equilibrium; because it is still horizontally confined with armored banks, it has adjusted vertically through incision and aggradation, likely affecting the floodplain inundation frequency. Phases 1 and 2 appear to be geomorphically stable, with their riparian canopy in various states of maturity. Monitoring of the cross-sections should in Phase 3 should continue into the future to determine whether channel adjustments continue, and as a basis to assess whether more complexity should be introduced to promote aggradation, channel complexity, floodplain inundation, and more ecologically valuable habitat.

Evaluating a protocol for determining minimum water levels to prevent fish stranding in the Russian River Watershed (David Hines, Emma Kohlsmith, Sammy Kayed)

The simultaneous withdrawal of water for springtime frost protection in the Russian River basin can coincide with the emergence of salmonid fry and juvenile rearing (Oncorhynchus spp) in tributaries to the Russian River, and has contributed to water levels declines, which in some instances, have resulted in the stranding mortality of fish. The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has proposed a site-specific method to determine minimum flows to protect salmonids from these effects. This method seeks to identify ‘high-risk’ stranding surfaces and determine the stream stage at which they become exposed.NMFS developed the method based on data from a medium-sized drainage (12.6 mi2), so we selected a small drainage (4.6 mi2) and a large drainage (50.2 mi2) to evaluate how effectively the method characterized the variation in potential stranding surfaces in different watershed settings. We did this by comparing the cumulative exposure of surfaces at various stages. We also examined how well the NMFS sampling design characterized the variation of potential stranding surfaces within a reach by surveying multiple riffle crest elevations as an indicator of channel variation. Finally, we conducted a sensitivity analysis on their risk model to see how accurately it assigned stranding risk to channel surfaces.Our findings indicate that substantial variation in the elevation of stranding surfaces exists between sites (range from 1.3 to 2.4 feet above riffle crest height), but the method should be capable of capturing that variation. We also found channel variation within a reach, but we were only able to measure it with the addition of longitudinal profile surveys, which were not described in the NMFS method. Finally, our sensitivity analysis showed that stranding risk was appropriately classified for the factors included in the model (slope and median particle size), but no justification was given for ignoring additional factors, such as rate of stage change.

Implications of Reconnecting Spring Branch Creek to Suisun Marsh: Predicting the Fate of Federally Listed Soft Bird’s Beak (Jessie Olson)

Spring Branch Creek drains a 2,670-acre watershed into Suisun Marsh in Suisun City, Solano County, CA. A farm levee road and berm that were constructed in the 1930s to drain the site for agriculture created an abrupt transition between fluvial and tidal systems. In the 1990s, the landowner Solano Land Trust installed two four-foot culverts beneath the levee road in attempt to partially restore the exchange of tidal water with fresh water. Ten years later (in 2000), a population of federally listed plant soft bird’s beak (Chloropyron molle ssp. molle, syn., Cordylanthus mollis ssp. mollis) was reintroduced in the high marsh zone under these altered hydrological conditions and is now a thriving population of 100,000 individuals. Now, a proposal to remove the levee5completely, and reconnect fluvial and tidal systems, may compromise the livelihood of this population by altering the hydrological conditions.Here, I conducted a hydrological analysis to describe the differences in current inundation frequency, duration, and depth in the high and low marsh zones, and above and below the Spring Branch Creek culverts. I also created a water surface model to predict how these hydrological differences will change following reconnection. Results show that hydrological conditions in the high marsh zone, where soft bird’s beak occurs, will not significantly change following reconnection, with tidal changes of only 5-6 cm. Water elevation ranges in the low marsh zone, however, are predicted to decrease as much as 55 cm, and could possibly affect low marsh vegetation. Threats beyond the proposed hydrological reconnection that directly impact the plant include competition from non-native species. Thus, monitoring of population viability should continue after reconnection.

Post-Project Evaluation of Channel Morphology, Invasive Species, and Native Fish Habitat in Putah Creek (Gina Blackledge, Gabrielle Boisrame, David Pope)

The Putah Creek watershed area encompasses over 2000 square kilometers. Putah Creek begins in Lake County off of Cobb Mountain, flowing 137 km southeastward, into the Yolo Bypass near Davis, California. It is divided into Upper and Lower Drainage areas, and is the tributary to the Yolo Bypass. The Lower Putah Creek, flowing 37km between the Solano Diversion Dam and the Yolo Bypass, is the stream-segment in which this evaluation takes place. From Lake Berryessa, Putah Creek is confined within a flood control channel, flowing eastward into the Sacramento River and serving as the boundary between Yolo County and Solano County, California. Dry Creek is its tributary, covering a length of 44 km joining Putah Creek near Winters, California. Putah Creek is regulated by water releases from Monticello Dam at Lake Berryessa. Dry Creek only runs part of the year and has no dams. Southward channel migration of Putah Creek from the 1990’s was threatening Putah Creek Rd., a paved county road following the south bank of the evaluated stream-section which is accessible from highway 505 via exit 10. This avulsion resulted in the disconnection of surface baseflow. The channel migration was also believed to cause fine sediment deposition, disconnecting the creek from Dry Creek, which is its main gravel source. In 2005, the Lower Putah Creek Coordinating Committee implemented a project to move the channel of Putah Creek northward to its approximate historical course and to remove invasive Giant Reed (Arundo donax), in part because the Arundo appeared to have contributed to the unwanted channel migration. We evaluated the project performance towards the goals of keeping invasive plant species out of the area, reconnecting the two creeks (Putah and Dry), reducing the rate of lateral erosion, and improving salmonid spawning habitat. We found that the channel has evolved from the homogeneous design channel into a series of riffles and pools, which is desirable as native fish habitat. There is a mix of native plant species (i.e. willow, cottonwood) and invasives (i.e. Arundo, blackberry) growing in the floodplain. The creek has stayed within the general path of the design channel, without showing signs of returning to the filled southern channel, though there is now some erosion along the northern bank. Fine sediments cover most of the gravels in the stream bed which might otherwise be good salmonid spawning habitat.

Effects of a livestock exclosures on channel morphology and vegetation along Long Creek in Lake County, Oregon (Carolyn Doehring, Zan Rubin, Rashmi Sahai)

Livestock grazing in the Western United States has lead to riparian ecosystem and stream channel degradation. Establishing fenced-off exclosures is a common management strategy that aims to passively restore these areas, however, relatively few studies have assessed the evolution of6exclosed reaches over time. In this study we evaluated temporal trends in channel form and riparian vegetation along a reach of Long Creek (drainage area of 69 square miles), a tributary to Sycan Marsh in southern Lake County, Oregon, which had been excluded from cattle by the Nature Conservancy in 1999. Based on previous literature, we hypothesized that the channel would have narrowed and vegetation re-established over the 12-year period.In October 2011, we resurveyed 7 of 12 previously-established cross sections to compare 2011 conditions to conditions at the time of exclosure and any subsequent resurveys. We also took photopoints at these locations, and compared them to historical photographs. We found no consistent trends in channel morphology, but one cross section demonstrated narrowing, likely driven by increased overbank flow from a nearby beaver dam. Vegetation had successfully established, but in addition to the riparian species, upland lodgepole pines were also abundant in the floodplain.Our results suggest that beavers should be encouraged so their dams will increase overbank flow and mitigate the invasion of upland plant species. We also propose these improvements in monitoring methods: ensure the immobility of survey monuments, set survey monuments away from existing channel banks with sufficient distance to anticipate any future channel migration, and note the orientation of the cross-sectional location across the channel.

Saeltzer Dam Removal on Clear Creek: A post-dam removal assessment of geomorphic adjustment and bank stabilization (Crystal Simons, Katelyn Walker, Mark Zimring)

In California’s Central Valley, dams block 95 percent of historic salmonid habitat.  The US Bureau of Reclamation removed McCormick-Saeltzer Dam from Clear Creek (drainage area 720 km2) in November 2000 to restore access by spring-run chinook salmon (Onocorhynchus tshawytscha) and other anadromous fish to approximately 12 miles of upstream spawning habitat.  Previous studies—the most recent in 2004—identified significant sediment mobilization since dam removal at, and above, the former dam site.  In October 2011, we resurveyed two previously-established cross sections at 26 m and 103.3 m upstream of the dam site and conducted a long profile of the thalweg from the dam site to 175 m upstream.  We also replicated previous site photographs, drew vegetation maps and compared 2010 aerial photographs to those from 1998 and 2004 to assess vegetation change and erosion patterns.  Our results documented little incremental erosion at and upstream of the dam site since 2004, suggesting that sediment mobilization post-dam removal has largely stopped.  Establishment of riparian vegetation may be stabilizing remaining sediment deposits.

Last modified: 12/2/2011 2:58 PM by S. Haren

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