Natomas Levee Improvement Program


August 31, 2017 - Natomas Cross Canal

The Natomas Levee Improvement Program (NLIP) entails improving the levee system that protects the 53,000-acre Natomas Basin with at least 100-year level of flood protection.  The Natomas Basin is generally bounded on the north by the Natomas Cross Canal (NCC), on the west by the Sacramento River, on the south by the American River, and the east by thePleasant Grove Creek Canal (PGCC) and Steelhead Creek (formerly known as the Natomas East Main Drainage Canal / NEMDC).

NLIP includes improvements to correct levee freeboard deficiencies and potential seepage issues along the NCC south levee, the Sacramento River east levee, and the PGCC west levee, as well as related landscape and irrigation/drainage infrastructure improvements throughout the Natomas Basin. SAFCA has already completed approximately 20 miles of levee work from SR-99 along the NCC and the Sacramento River east levee. Additional project information: Natomas Levee Improvement Program.

Habitat Conservation Strategy

Many common wildlife species utilize the Natomas Basin and the NLIP levee improvement areas, and the following special-status species also have potential to exist within and adjacent to the levee improvement areas: Valley Elderberry Longhorn Beetle, Giant Garter Snake, Swainson’s Hawk, Burrowing Owl, four federally listed Sacramento River fish species (two of which are also state listed), and the Northwestern Pond Turtle. There are also three special-status plant species that have potential to exist within some portions of the project area and they include: Rose Mallow, Delta Tule Pea, and Sanford’s Arrowhead.

This levee improvement project presented a unique opportunity to create a conservation strategy to help reconfigure and protect large nodes of habitat, including sesitive habitat, and connective corridors within the Basin at a landscape scale that would not only help to offset project impacts but would also advance the goals and objectives of the Natomas Basin Habitat Conservation Plan (NBHCP), as well as assist the Federal Aviation Administration, the US Army Corps of Engineers, and the local reclamation districts in achieving their management goals.

The conservation strategy has four primary goals or objectives:

  1. Increase the amount of protected habitat and habitat corridors available for NBHCP-covered species.
  2. Consolidate large areas of habitat, assisting in the expansion of the Natomas Basin Conservancy (TNBC) reserve blocks in the northwestern and southwestern regions of the Basin. (Note: TNBC implements the NBHCP)
  3. Improve the connectivity between core habitat reserves and other existing natural habitats distributed throughout the Basin, improve linkages between isolated wildlife populations, and substantially increase acreage size of these critical habitats.
  4. Meet regulatory compensatory mitigation requirements. A description of each of the mitigation components, including the basis for planning and design for each component, follows.

Status of Created Habitats

The status of all the various created habitat types, which include Giant Garter Snake habitat, Swainson's Hawk foraging habitat, and woodland habitat are contained in the reports below.

Annual Reports:    -   2011/2012    -   2013    -   2014    -   2015    -   2016    -   2017