Green Valley Creek High Flow Channel Project Available for Public Comment
For Immediate Release - June 22, 2018
Santa Rosa, CA – The Sonoma County Water Agency (Water Agency) has developed a proposal to reduce flooding on Green Valley Road west of Graton by removing sediment from the adjacent Green Valley Creek and restoring the creek banks with native vegetation. Pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act, the Water Agency released a Draft Initial Study and Negative Declaration (IS/ND) for the project on June 22. The public is invited to provide comment on the project before July 24.
Green Valley Creek experiences recurring flooding, leading to extended road closures or hazardous driving conditions on Green Valley Road, stranded fish and wildlife species, and damage to the roadway and adjacent farmland. In recent years, flooding has become worse, lasting longer, causing more damage, and occurring with greater frequency. The proposed project would excavate and maintain channels in the creek and install native plants along the banks to reduce flooding of Green Valley Road and nearby properties and improve aquatic habitat. The project is expected to be implemented in fall 2018. Annual dry season maintenance would occur as needed for five years.
“Last year, Green Valley Road was closed for over three weeks due to flooding,” said Water Agency Director Lynda Hopkins. “The project would make Green Valley Road safer for the communities who rely on it, as well as the fish and wildlife who rely on the creek.”
The project would involve clearing blackberry understory from the creek and an adjacent area in order to establish a temporary access road across a dry channel; excavating sediment from the existing creek and installing a high flow channel through a gravel bar; and planting native species along its banks. Although construction is likely to temporarily disturb fish and wildlife, over the long term the project would improve fish passage, reduce the number of fish stranded by receding floodwaters, improve habitats for other aquatic species, and support healthier habitats downstream by decreasing sediment flows from the area.
An electronic copy of the Draft IS/ND is available at www.scwa.ca.gov/environmental-documents. Hard copies of the Draft IS/ND are available for purchase by request at 707-547-1900 or at the Water Agency’s administrative office (404 Aviation Boulevard, Santa Rosa). Hard copies are also available for public viewing at the following locations:
- Sonoma County Water Agency: 404 Aviation Blvd Santa Rosa, CA 95403
- Sebastopol Regional Library: 7140 Bodega Avenue, Sebastopol, CA 95472
An Initial Study is a preliminary analysis of a project’s potential environmental impacts used to determine whether a Negative Declaration or an Environmental Impact Report will be prepared. The Initial Study is intended to provide a clear understanding of the environmental impacts associated with the construction and operation of the proposed project for decision-makers, responsible and trustee agencies under CEQA, and the public. If an Initial Study identifies potentially significant impacts but the project is modified or revised to clearly mitigate the impacts, a Mitigated Negative Declaration may be prepared. If an Initial Study concludes that a project may have a significant effect on the environment, an Environmental Impact Report should be prepared.
The Sonoma County Water Agency is working to secure our future by investing in our water resources, community and environment. The Water Agency provides water supply, flood protection and sanitation services for portions of Sonoma and Marin counties. Visit us on the Web at www.sonomacountywater.org.