If you don't see much riparian view from the road, it's because the County removed nearly all of it in the past 2 months under an emergency declaration, saying a 100-year flood would inundate the treatment plant and cause 4 mgd of raw sewage to spill into Newport Bay. Therefore it had to get rid of all the willows and understory that lined the banks of the creek that provided habitat for 6 territories of the listed species least Bell's vireo.
Prior to the emergency declaration, plans were in the works to remove sediment from the creek and provide flood capacity while protecting the willow habitat. The county bypassed all that, bypassed CEQA, bypassed DFG, USFWS, ACOE, and RWQCB, with its emergency declaration. Pretty cool, huh? Just declare an emergency and you can remove all that pesky endangered species habitat without any bother from the agencies.
Interestingly, the County has now rectified the fearsome scenario of inundation of the Michelson Treatment Plant by installing two layers of sandbags, totaling 6 inches to one foot high that you can see on the creek side of the road as you enter the treatment plant for the meeting. This little layer of sandbags is designed to fill low spots in the berm on the creek side of the road to prevent the raging flood waters of the creek from inundating the treatment plant's facilities and discharging 4 mgd of raw sewage into Newport Bay, given an incipient 100-year storm that's supposed to happen in the next few days.
Looking across the creek from the road, notice the mulefat hedge across the creek that used to be lush willows, now reduced to mulch that you can see on the bank of dirt, just waiting to be swept into the bay.
But feel safe, the sandbags will protect you while you are at the meeting.
Jan Vandersloot (949) 548-6326
Subj: Newport Bay/San Diego Creek Watershed Meeting - February 25, 2004
NEWPORT BAY WATERSHED MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE
NEWPORT BAY/SAN DIEGO CREEK WATERSHED
FEASIBILITY STUDY MANAGEMENT TEAM
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 2004
IRVINE RANCH WATER DISTRICT
MICHELSON TREATMENT PLANT
MULTI PURPOSE ROOM
3512 MICHELSON AVENUE, IRVINE
2. San Diego Creek Watershed Management Study Update – Krista Sloniowski/ACOE
3. San Diego Creek Special Area Management Plan Update – Jae Chung/ACOE
4. Sediment TMDL Status – Lane Waldner/County
5. San Diego Creek Long Term O&M – Chris Kubasek/County
6. County Emergency Flood Control Work – Larry McKenney/County
7. Next Meeting Date – Chris Crompton/County
Back to T.O.C. 3