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(Half Moon Bay, Calif.) The San Mateo County Resource Conservation District (RCD) and Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST) announced they have received a $937,926 grant through the California Department of Water Resources Urban Streams Restoration Program to restore the natural floodplain of Butano Creek in Pescadero.
The creek has lost 7/8 of its original floodplain and is carrying 2.5 times more sediment compared to historic levels. The primary access road to the town crosses the creek, where frequent flooding can isolate the community and separate residents from the fire station—the town’s primary emergency medical response.
The project will raise the elevation of the creek bed and reconnect the water to its historic 115-acre floodplain along one mile of Butano Creek, where it passes through the Butano Farms property purchased by POST in 2012. By reducing a primary source of sediment (eroding creek banks) and providing a floodplain for the sediment to drop out before heading downstream, it will help prevent that sediment from accumulating at Pescadero Creek Road and Pescadero Marsh.
“This issue has had a significant impact on this community,” said RCD Executive Director Kellyx Nelson. “We’re excited about the opportunity to work with POST on this critical stretch of the creek and provide the residents of Pescadero with some relief. It’s also a great opportunity to help people learn more about the importance of the floodplain and how connected it is to actions in the surrounding environment.”
In addition to restoring the creek and floodplain’s historic function and providing flood relief, the project will improve water quality, reduce the need for dredging and improve habitat for threatened and endangered populations of steelhead trout, Coho salmon, San Francisco garter snakes and California red-legged frogs.
There will be future opportunities for the community to participate in the project through work days and site tours. The hope is that 2-3 years after construction the project will have restored up to 10 percent of the historic floodplain that has been lost over the last 100 years.
The Resource Conservation District in San Mateo County is a non-regulatory special district to help people protect, conserve, and restore natural resources through information, education, and technical assistance programs. For 75 years, the RCD has provided assistance to landowners wishing to best manage their natural resources and has been a focal point for local resource conservation and assistance to agriculture.
POST is a leading private, nonprofit land trust that protects and cares for open space, farms and parkland in and around Silicon Valley. Since its founding in 1977, POST has been responsible for saving more than 75,000 acres as permanent open space and parkland in San Mateo, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties. www.openspacetrust.org
Senior Manager, Communications
Phone: (650) 854-7696 x341
Email: mmellon [at] openspacetrust [dot] org
Phone: (650) 712-7765 x102
Email: kellyx [at] sanmateorcd [dot] org
Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST) protects open space on the Peninsula and in the South Bay for the benefit of all. Since its founding in 1977, POST has been responsible for saving more than 76,000 acres as permanently protected land in San Mateo, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties.