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Projects Worked On

Project Name Description
Cosumnes Phase 3

The Center for Watershed Sciences is partnering with The Nature Conservancy in an experimental floodplain restoration on the Cosumnes River. The Center's role in this Department of Fish & Wildlife funded project, "Wildlife And Vegetation Response to Experimental Restoration of Flooded Riparian Forest Habitat for the Cosumnes River Preserve," is intended to conduct biophysical monitoring of an experimental restoration on approximately 800 acres of flooded riparian forest habitat in the Cosumnes River Preserve.

The riparian and floodplain restoration is expected to benefit native fish and wildlife, using natural process restoration techniques where possible and horticultural restoration carried out in an experimental context. This will be one of the first projects to monitor changes in Bay-Delta ecosystem processes resulting from floodplain reconnection.

The project area has been identified as one of the primary locations where riparian restoration can be conducted successfully in the lower Cosumnes River Corridor. 

The Cosumnes Research Group 3 (CRG3) began in the Fall of 2011 to monitor and measure the impact of the planned restoration at the Oneto and Denier Properties along the lower Cosumnes River. The group is currently working on collecting baseline data that will be used to compare with the restored landscape in the following areas: 

  • Groundwater
  • Surface Water
  • Aquatic Ecology
  • Water Quality
  • Soil Carbon
  • Geomorphology
  • Hydrochory
Historical Delta Elevation Model

Early 19th century settlers of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta would have a hard time recognizing the place today. Artificial levees for flood control, debris from hydraulic mining, deepwater shipping channels and massive water exports have fundamentally altered the region's landscapes, ecosystems and functions. Working with the San Francisco Estuary Institute and Research Management Associates of Fairfield, Center researchers developed a model of the early 1800s Delta to characterize the hydrodynamics under natural conditions. 

Primary inputs to the bathymetric-topographic digital elevation model include two-dimensional Delta channels and land cover data from previous historical ecology mapping (Whipple et al. 2012); elevation data from historical US Coast Survey hydrographs and early river surveys.

We developed novel methods to interpolate between sparse historical soundings, infer depths of non-navigable channels from channel width, and convert historical tidal datums to modern fixed datums. The resulting 2-meter resolution digital elevation model covers Delta historical channels, tidal wetlands, adjacent non-tidal freshwater wetlands and upland transitional areas below 25 feet in elevation.

Historical vs Modern Elevation Model Slider