ICF prepared preliminary engineering plans to support efforts to develop a multi-objective restoration plan for the 4.5-mile Rutherford Reach of the Napa River. The project focused on stabilizing the river to protect adjacent vineyard land and infrastructure by restoring natural physical and processes.
Other objectives of the project included removing invasive non-native vegetation; increasing instream habitat value for native aquatic species; and creating a self-sustaining, continuous, and diverse riparian corridor. Historical changes in land use and management had confined the river into a narrow channel, lost riparian and wetland habitats, accelerated channel incision and bank erosion, and reduced water quality. Because of this ongoing degradation, properties along the 4.5-mile Rutherford Reach were subject to bank instability and failure, leading to loss of valuable vineyard land and costly repairs.
ICF partnered with the Napa County Resource Conservation District and the Napa County Flood Control and Water Conservation District to work with local landowners in developing and implementing solutions to these problems. We conducted geomorphic and hydraulic analyses; documented historical changes in the river channel; and assessed riparian and instream aquatic habitat characteristics, including potential impediments to passage for salmonids. Our project design team developed alternatives for stabilizing eroding banks, controlling channel incision, and enhancing habitat for native fish and wildlife species. We also collaborated with local landowners to select a preferred approach and developed preliminary engineering designs, along with associated environmental compliance documents and permit applications.
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