Press Release # 382

Subj: OOG: San Diego Creek Watershed Meeting Today, Wednesday, 1:30 PM
Date: 2/25/2004 5:08:28 AM Eastern Standard Time
From: Jon V3
To: Jon V3

Dear Ocean Outfall Group (OOG) and San Diego Creek Interested Parties:

Today, Wednesday, February 25, 1:30 PM, is a meeting of the Newport Bay/San Diego Creek Watershed Management and Feasibility Study Committees.

This should be an interesting meeting, considering how the County recently took matters into its own hands and declared an emergency on December 17, 2003, subsequently performing a near total removal of riparian willow habitat from the sides of San Diego Creek from Campus Drive to the 405 Freeway.

This should be a good one.

You can get to the Michelson Treatment Plant by taking the Jamboree exit off the 405 freeway, head towards the ocean. Turn left onto Michelson, not far from the freeway. Turn right onto Riparian View, then turn right into the Michelson Treatment Plant where the windmill is.

 

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

AND

NEWPORT BAY/SAN DIEGO CREEK WATERSHED

FEASIBILITY STUDY MANAGEMENT TEAM

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 2004

at

1:30 PM

at

IRVINE RANCH WATER DISTRICT

MICHELSON TREATMENT PLANT

MULTI PURPOSE ROOM

3512 MICHELSON AVENUE, IRVINE

AGENDA


1. Welcome and Self Introductions – Chris Crompton/Larry McKenney/County

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

8. Adjourn

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