AP Article: California leads effort to let rivers roam, lower flood risk

This article explores the benefits of restoring floodplains allowing floodwaters to expand into open land that no longer needs to be kept dry. In doing so, flood risk is reduced down stream, habitats are expanded, and ground water is recharged. These benefits can be clearly seen at California’s largest single floodplain restoration project, the Dos Rios Ranch Preserve, highlighted in the article.

“There’s tremendous potential for this kind of work, and I’m quite impressed by how deliberate and thoughtful California is being in this space”

— Dr. Todd Bridges, Engineering With Nature National Lead. Read more.
This photo was taken opposite the Dos Rios Ranch looking at the mouth of the West Stanislaus Irrigation District intake canal at the San Joaquin River National Wildlife Refuge.  It is the site of the Three Amigos Non-Structural Alternative flood protection project – a collaboration between the Central Valley Flood Protection Board, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

In fall 2021 Dr. Bridges documented his visit to Dos Rios and other locations in the California Central Valley looking for opportunities to engineer with nature in the face of challenging “swings” from wet to dry years, The California Swing.

Also announced in the article, this week the CA Department of Water Resources (CADWR) will release the updated Central Valley Flood Protection Plan, detailing ways to lower flood risk and protect the roughly 1.3 million people who live on floodplains, along with key infrastructure, agricultural lands and ecosystems.

USACE and CADWR share the common goal of sustainable, integrated management of water resources and flood systems that support public safety and ecosystem health. Learn more about how USACE is collaborating with CADWR on Engineering With Nature (MOU with CADWR).

Read the full article.