Feather and Bear River Levee Setback Project

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By setting back parts of the Feather and Bear River levee system in northern California's Marysville, the Three Rivers Levee Improvement Authority (TRLIA) will ensure an improved level of flood protection and the environmental benefits of a restored floodplain.

ESA provided geomorphic and hydrodynamic/morphologic modeling services to guide the final designs for both levee setback projects. Using a combination of field geomorphic interpretation backed by two-dimensional hydraulic and sediment transport modeling, we established how the sites evolved historically, refined the design of the setback levees relative to erosion, and developed habitat restoration concepts to improve floodplain ecosystem functions. Our findings helped the client design geomorphically stable flood management solutions that rehabilitate floodplain processes. ESA also established a physical monitoring program at the Bear River site to monitor sediment deposition in the setback area, tracking the success of the levee setback.

ESA was integral to the successful Feather and Bear River levee setback projects. The Bear River project received the California ASCE award for "Flood Control Project of the Year" and the Award for Outstanding Engineering Project from the American Society of Civil Engineers Sacramento District.

Specialized Services

  • Floodplain mapping
  • Geomorphic assessments
  • Hydrologic and hydraulic modeling
  • Monitoring
  • Multi-objective flood management