ENVIRONMENTAL
PROGRAM
ACTIVITIES

Lower American River Bank Protection
Sacramento River Bank Protection
North Area Local Project
Natomas Levee Improvement Program
South Sacramento Streams Group
Folsom Joint Federal Project
American River Common Features
Anticipatory Erosion Control Program
SPECIAL STATUS
SPECIES
Giant Garter Snake
Burrowing Owl
Valley Elderberry Longhorn Beetle
Swainson's Hawk
Vernal Pools
COLLABORATION
Lower American River Task Force
North Area Round Table
Levee Vegetation Symposium
California Levees Round Table
Valley Elderberry Longhorn Beetle Collaborative
LOWER AMERICAN RIVER BANK PROTECTION

Project History

The Sacramento River Bank Protection Project, Lower American River (LAR) Sites 1-5 are located along the lower American River, a tributary of the Sacramento River.  These sites were selected for bank revetment based on selection criteria developed by both the US Army Corps of Engineers (Corps), the California Department of Water Resources Central Valley Flood Protection Board (formerly the Reclamation Board) and the Sacramento Area Flood Control Agency (SAFCA) for determining critically eroding bank sites along the LAR.  Bank protection was installed at five sites to provide underlying continuous hard protection to prevent lateral erosion into the levee structure and ensure a high level of flood protection.  ‘Onsite’ projects (Sites 1-5) are the habitat features that were incorporated into the bank revetments to restore loss of riparian vegetation and special-status species habitat affected during construction.  Additional ‘offsite’ riparian habitat enhancement measures were required to fully mitigate project impacts, including sites at LAR River Miles (RM) 0.9R, 3.3R, and 11.6R.  All mitigation projects are located on active channel bank and/or floodplain.  § Link §

The ‘Onsite’ designs include a variety of surfaces capable of supporting vegetation; low riverside berms (small constructed floodplains) with varying berm-surface elevations and shoreline configuration; and woody materials submerged in constructed embayments or smaller bank scallops.  Native woody and herbaceous riparian vegetation was planted on an engineered soil trench placed in the revetment at Sites 1-5 (including a low-berm face, low berm, lower slope, upper slope, and middle berm) with the goal of creating a self-sustaining, mixed canopy riparian forest and riparian scrub habitat, SRA habitat, and valley elderberry longhorn beetle (VELB) habitat. Habitat performance goals at all sites generally include survival, vegetative cover and tree/shrub width.  An illustration depicting a generalized cross section of mitigation sites and the terms used to describe planting surfaces can be viewed by clicking here.  § Link §

Bank Protection Sites

A table of the mitigation goals can be found by clicking here.  § Link §

  • Site 1
  • Site 2
  • Site 3
  • Site 4
  • Site 5
  • Site 11.6R
  • Site 0.9
Site 1 is approximately 2200 ft. in total length and the bank protection and mitigation features were constructed in 1999.  Mitigation features include instream woody material, an undulating, cobble-lined, low-berm soil trench and plantings on the low-berm, middle-berm, and upper slope planting surfaces.  Transects are monitored every year to determine vegetative growth and vigor.  

Site 2 is approximately 450 ft in total length. Bank protection and mitigation were constructed in 1999.  Mitigation features include an undulating, low-berm soil trench covered by coir fabric mat and plantings on the low berm, middle berm and upper slope planting surfaces.  Transects are monitored every year to determine vegetative growth and vigor.
Site 3 is approximately 3400 ft. in total length. Bank protection features were constructed in 1996 and 1997.  Mitigation features were installed in 1997 and in 1999.  These include an undulating, low-berm soil trench covered by coir fabric mat, instream woody material and plantings on the low-berm, upper slope and middle berm.  Transects are monitored every year to determine vegetative growth and vigor.  

Site 4 is approximately 3100 ft in length. Bank protection and mitigation features were constructed in 1999.  Mitigation features include an undulating cobble-lined low berm soil trench and plantings on the low-berm face, low berm and upper slope planting surfaces.  Transects are monitored every year to determine vegetative growth and vigor.

Site 5 is approximately1500 ft. in length. Bank protection features at Site 5 were constructed in 1998 and 1999.  Mitigation plantings were installed in 1999 and include an irregular shore line, submerged low bench with fine textured in-stream woody material, an undulating, cobble lined, low berm soil trench and plantings on the low berm surface and slope above.  Biotechnical plantings on rock tie backs (partitions) in the low berm surface and biotechnical plantings in coir logs at the toe of the slope above the low berm surface were also installed.  As of 2007, Site 5 has met all riparian habitat goals.
This site is off-site mitigation for Bank Protection Site 5 and is 1600 ft long.  This site was revegetated with native vegetation and some areas were re-graded to facilitate the growth of native grasses.  One hundred elderberry shrubs were planted in 2004.  Currently the site is posing some performance challenges and is being adaptively managed to improve vegetation performance.
This site is another off-site mitigation site for Bank Project Site 5 and is 800 ft long and covers 3.1 acres.  Prior to construction, the river bank at this location was approximately 15 feet above the active floodplain. Floodplain elevation was reduced by excavating and grading the site into a series of tiered elevated benches that were planted with native riparian vegetation to create seasonally inundated floodplain habitat and Shaded Riverine Aquatic (SRA) habitat. One hundred elderberry shrubs were planted in 2004 but significant losses occurred due to a lengthy period of water inundation in 2006.  The habitat features have been very successful and the riparian vegetation is extremely robust.  Regeneration of arroyo willow, sandbar willow, Gooding’s willow, yellow willow, wild grape, mule fat, Oregon ash, interior live oak, coyote brush, box elder, cottonwood and sycamore is common throughout this site. 





Annual Reports

2009   2008   2007 2006 2005 2004


Additional sites along the Lower American River

  • Site 1.8L
  • Site 10.0L

This Bank Protection Project is located 1.8 miles upstream of the confluence of the Sacramento and American Rivers on the south bank (left bank) of the American River, just downstream of State Highway 160. The site was identified as a critical emergency levee repair site in 2003. Approximately 750 linear feet of riprap revetment was placed along the waterside toe of the levee both above and below the water line.  The upper levee slope in this area was previously rip-rapped during the American River Common Features Project. An onsite re-vegetation plan was initiated following construction and is a required conservation measure of the project.

The three main components of the re-vegetation plan are 1) a continuous row of vegetation along the shoreline with plants common to central valley riparian ecosystems including: ash, sycamore, alder and willow species, 2) protect the vegetation from beaver pruning by establishing a combination of barrier fencing and individual cages and 3) naturally occurring cottonwoods, alders and willows will be caged as an added measure to encourage vegetation development.

This project is located along the south bank of the American River upstream of Watt Ave Bridge at the Waterton Access.  The site was identified as a critical emergency levee repair site in 2003. The project area is 130 feet in length and varies in width from 30 to 50 feet.  Initial site design involved the construction of a series of brush & log boxes which were subsequently vegetated to stabilize an unstable horizon of erosion prone sand. Not long after construction, vandals destroyed several of the constructed features at the rivers edge. These features were abandoned in favor of traditional rip rap erosion protection which was subsequently covered with cobbles for aesthetic purposes. Habitat features at this site include a combination of woody and herbaceous plants scattered across the site slopes.  







 




Annual Reports

2009  2008   2007      



 


© 2008 SAFCA - Sacramento Area Flood Control Agency :: All Rights Reserved