Liberty Island Restoration Design

ESA  Image

Several programs in the Central Valley, including the California Department of Water Resources’ Delta Levees Program and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Sacramento River Bank Protection Project will require offsite compensation to mitigate permitted impacts to fisheries habitat. Wildlands developed the Liberty Island Fish Conservation Bank with input from the California Department of Fish and Game, National Marine Fisheries Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to preserve, restore and enhance habitat on northern Liberty Island for native fish species.

ESA contributed to the wetland restoration design and provided a supporting technical basis of design report for this 186-acre conservation bank and preserve in the northern Delta, one of the first restoration projects in the region. The site is designed to create habitats beneficial to Delta native fish. The restoration design creates open water channels, tidal emergent marsh, and seasonally inundated floodplain habitats while improving flood capacity and levee stability. ESA performed field surveys of local marsh and floodplain reference sites and assisted in the design of the restoration project. The site was constructed and breached in late 2010, restoring habitat expected to benefit Delta fish species including federally endangered Sacramento River winter-run Chinook salmon, threatened Central Valley spring-run Chinook salmon and threatened delta smelt.

ESA’s science-based approach linked biological objectives to engineering activities, helping to build project support and secure agency approval for the restoration. The completion of this project comes at a crucial time when varied environmental and water interests throughout California debate the current health and long term future of the Delta.

Specialized Services

  • Channel and floodplain restoration design
  • Development feasibility (constraints/opportunities, due diligence)
  • Fisheries habitat enhancement
  • Geomorphic assessments
  • Habitat evaluations
  • Habitat modeling
  • Habitat restoration and enhancement
  • Historical investigations, documentation, and plans
  • Hydrologic and hydraulic modeling
  • Modeling and analysis
  • Wetland restoration

Related images

Barge Mobilization Photo Courtesy of Wildlands
Liberty Island Aerial Courtesy of Chris Galloway