Funding for this Project will be used to initiate habitat restoration efforts on the New and Alamo Rivers in Imperial County, CA in order to provide habitat for sensitive species, reduce flood risk, improve water quality, sequester carbon, and create employment and recreation opportunities.
Originating in Mexico and running south to north, the Alamo and New Rivers cross Imperial County before draining into the Salton Sea. Both are heavily impacted by urban and agricultural runoff, pollution, sedimentation, trash, and invasive species, rarely functioning as naturally flowing rivers. Much of the floodways of both rivers are populated with high-density invasive plant species including salt cedar, common reed, and giant reed. These species provide low habitat value for listed wildlife species, reduce water availability, increase fire risk in riparian zones, alter soil chemistry, and increase flood risk.
1) Collect baseline pre-project data documenting soil conditions, existing vegetation, hydrological conditions, and wildlife use of identified potential restoration and enhancement project sites at the Imperial Wildlife Area (IWA) and Imperial Irrigation District (IID) lands.
2) Develop conceptual restoration plans that describe historic land use and current site conditions, articulate protocols for the removal of invasive species and the reestablishment of native riparian habitat on site, identify target wildlife species and plant associations for IWA and IID lands, and incorporate community feedback.
3) Develop a detailed restoration plan for IWA, as required for restoration implementation at the IWA site. The detailed specific planting design will include details of plant species mix, plant communities, planting density, layout. The restoration plan will also identify a short-term irrigation water source and include irrigation system designs.
4) Prepare all permit applications (CEQA, DFW 1600, SHPO, others), ensuring that implementation of the 90%-design restoration plan at IWA can begin once this planning project is complete.
5) Collect, process, and prepare for storage native seeds collected from within the Alamo River and adjacent watersheds for use during implementation at IWA.
6) Coordinate with partners to identify additional locations for future restoration of riverside land on the New and Alamo Rivers. The scoping study will be based on baseline data collected and constraints identified during preparation of the specific restoration plan discussed above, lessons from past desert riparian restoration projects, and a GIS-based mapping exercise to locate conditions conducive to riparian restoration along the Alamo and New Rivers
Research/Planning (including Science)
Project Benefits a Disadvantaged Community (or SDAC):