PESCADERO, Calif.—California State Parks and San Mateo Resource Conservation District (RCD) will begin the Butano Creek Channel Reconnection and Resiliency Project on September 6. This first phase of the project will remove trees and brush along Butano Creek downstream of the Pescadero Creek Road Bridge to prepare for removing sediment deposits in summer 2019.
Historic land use in the watershed, including logging, creek channelization, road construction, agriculture, and development, dramatically increased the volume of sediment entering Pescadero marsh. Routine dredging in the marsh and along Butano Creek historically conducted by local farmers ended after the State of California acquired the marsh and lagoon in 1974, and began to manage it as a natural preserve, consistent with state and federal environmental requirements.
This joint project will remove sediment from Butano Creek to restore fish passage, reduce flooding on Pescadero Creek Road, and reuse the sediments to improve water quality and restore the degraded marsh. Another project goal is to improve low oxygen conditions that contribute to seasonal fish kills. Drivers on Highway 1 will be able to see tree removals along Butano Creek between Half Moon Bay and Santa Cruz, but the project is not expected to impact traffic in the area.
The expected completion date for the project is October 2019. Updates will follow as new phases begin. Funding and partnership support for this $8 million project is provided to the RCD by California State Parks, San Mateo County, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). For more information, visit the project web page at www.sanmateoRCD.org/project/butano-channel-restoration-project.