Santa Ana River Mainstem Flood Control

UltraSystems Environmental is completing five-year riparian restoration program within the Santa Ana River (SAR) floodplain from Norco Bluffs downstream to an area near the Corona Airport in Riverside County, California to compensate for anticipated temporary and permanent impacts to riparian habitat caused by the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) SAR Mainstem Flood Control Project. Portions of the SAR watershed upstream of Interstate 15 (I-15) have been restored over the past two decades by the USACE. UltraSystems initiated a five-year restoration effort in the SAR Mainstem downstream of I-15 in 2014 within approximately 356 acres of federal land, and completed riparian and floodplain restoration within approximately 250 acres of federal land (Norco Site) in 2015. Originally, equestrian users of traditional trails within thickets of giant reed (Arundo donax) were opposed to the restoration effort. An extensive public outreach program was developed using “town hall” and “round table” meeting formats. After listening to concerns and informing equestrian users of long-term benefits associated with improved river flow, reduction in potential wildland fires, and return of native flora and fauna to re-establish the natural ecosystem, the local community and equestrian users supported the restoration effort.