May 2006 Newsletter - PDF by AnthonySeuseu


									                                   FMA News
                                   The Newsletter of the Floodplain Management Association
May 2006                                                                               Volume 16, Issue 2
  Highlights of This Issue
                                                              Letter From the Chair
Guadalupe River: The Rediscovery 2
                                                              It looks like California and Nevada have finally come out from
of a Natural Resource in San Jose’s
Urban Core                                                    under the gloom and rain that was the norm for most of this
                                                              winter and well into the spring. There was some flooding in
2006 Awards Program Unveiled       4                          areas in the Central Valley and other locations, but it certainly
                                                              held the potential to be much worse. We’re not out of the
FMA Participates in Corps of Engi- 5                          woods yet though because water is going to be high on the lev-
neers National Planning Conference        ees on all our major rivers and in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta for months to
                                          come as the above-normal snow pack in the Sierra melts.
EPA and Corps of Engineers Re-     7       The good news for Californians is that our lawmakers were able to get over their
lease New Wetlands Mitigation Rule        partisan squabbling and put an infrastructure bond measure on the November bal-
                                          lot. I am hopeful that the voters will understand the severity of the needs and will Gets a Makeover           7      vote for passage of the bond, which includes a significant amount of money for
                                          levee repair and reconstruction.
Lake Tahoe – Presentation on       9       I would like to let you know what’s been going on in FMA. For the first part of this
Pollutants, BMPs, TMDLs
                                          year, we will have sponsored four professional development courses, in HEC-HMS,
FEMA Train the Trainer Course      9      HEC-RAS, FLO-2D and CFM certification training. Watch your e-mail for announce-
                                          ments of future training sessions and feel free to tell us if you have a training need
                                          that is not being filled. If you and about 20 friends have the same need, we will
Career Opportunities!              9
                                          develop a course and present it. The training courses FMA sponsors are very afford-
                                          able and provide unparalleled value for your training dollar.
Certified Floodplain Manager (CFM) 10     Planning for our annual conference at the Coronado Island Marriott is moving
Training & Exam                           ahead very well. If you have a paper that you would like to submit for the confer-
                                          ence please send an abstract to by June 1. Sign up and get
California Extreme Precipitation   10     your reservations early to make sure that you get the lowest conference and hotel
Symposium                                 rates.

                                   11      You also have an opportunity to nominate deserving individuals, jurisdictions, and
HEC-HMS 3-Day Course An-
                                          projects for one of our FMA Awards to be given out at the annual conference.
                                          Please see the award nomination announcement in this newsletter for more infor-
Changes to FEMA Elevation          12     mation.
Certificate                                Let’s all keep working for sensible floodplain planning, maintenance and upgrade
                                          of levees where needed, and a strong dose of common sense (which doesn’t seem
Financing Stormwater Management 12        to be that common anymore) when it comes to management of the interaction of
                                          people, development, and floodplains.
FMA 2006 Annual Conference—        13
Preliminary Program
                                          - Eric Clyde
Volume 16, Issue 2                                                                                                        Page 2

                                                                arose that removing the SRA would expose the river to direct
                                                                sunlight and raise water temperatures above acceptable
Guadalupe River: The Rediscovery                                threshold levels for the fledgling steelhead population. A no-
of a Natural Resource in San Jose’s                             tice of citizen’s suit was filed under Section 505 of the Clean
                                                                Water Act alleging that the already completed portions of the
            Urban Core                                          project did not meet established water quality permit condi-
               By David J. Chesterman, P.E.                     tions and that remaining portions would further degrade wa-
             Santa Clara Valley Water District                  ter quality, especially by causing increased temperatures.

 As construction on the Guadalupe River Park and Flood           Rather than embark on a lengthy and costly debate on the
Protection Project moved into its final stages in Septem-       merits of the claim, the project proponents took a more con-
ber 2005, an estimated 40,000 Silicon Valley residents          structive approach. They formed a collaborative comprised of
gathered in the parks and trails along this vast multi-         the water district, Corps of Engineers, U.S. Fish and Wildlife
purpose project to celebrate a unique natural river corri-      Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
dor in the highly urbanized downtown San Jose area. After       Fisheries, California Department of Fish and Game, San Fran-
several starts and stops in planning efforts spanning the       cisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board, City of San
past five decades, the completed park and flood protec-         Jose and the potential litigants to develop a revised concep-
tion project has now become the central feature and gath-       tual design that would meet several important criteria. It
ering place for the surrounding community.                      would not only provide needed flood protection but also
                                                                achieve measurable objectives to support beneficial uses, be
The project was jointly developed by the Santa Clara Val-       cost-effective and result in timely project completion.
ley Water District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, City of
San Jose and San Jose Redevelopment Agency to achieve           Driven primarily by the desire to maintain acceptably low-
multiple goals of flood protection, habitat enhancement         water temperatures, the resulting flood protection project
and recreational benefits for the heart of Silicon Valley. At   included construction of a large underground culvert measur-
a total cost of $350 million, the 2.6-mile-long project pro-    ing 2,700 feet long, with a cross section measuring more
vides critically needed flood protection from a 100-year        than 50 feet wide and 20 feet high. The culvert allows
design storm event of 17,000 cubic feet per second.             roughly half of the flood flows to bypass the natural river
As recently as 1995 and 1998, high stormwater flows             channel, protecting the natural channel from erosion, main-
caused extensive flooding of streets, homes and busi-           taining critical SRA, and providing protection from a one-
nesses in downtown San Jose. The flood damages now              percent flood event.
avoided by the project easily approach $1 billion while
savings in flood insurance premiums provide a net eco-           Besides ensuring water temperature suitable for steelhead
nomic benefit to the community estimated at $4 million          and Chinook salmon, the redesigned project has significant
annually.                                                       additional habitat benefits, including 21 additional acres of
                                                                riparian vegetation and nearly 23,000 linear feet of SRA vege-
 Construction of the downstream reach of the project was        tation; replacement and maintenance of critical spawning and
completed in 1995 and was generally considered to pro-          rearing habitat, and constructed low-flow channel invert and
vide enhanced habitat benefits due, in part, to the avail-      bank stabilization features. Critical fish barriers have been
ability of relatively inexpensive lands underlying the flight   removed and sections of the river rebuilt to allow unimpeded
path of the Norman Y Mineta San Jose International Air-         fish migration.
port. However, the remaining upstream reach was se-
verely constrained by an existing urban infrastructure           While the bypass culvert protects most of the sensitive
which had encroached upon the river’s historic floodplain.      stream reaches, some areas still require more traditional fea-
                                                                tures to meet flood protection goals amid the existing urban
 The originally planned widening of the remaining reach         infrastructure. Concrete retaining walls, gabion baskets and
would have removed several hundred lineal feet of               articulated concrete mats are used to protect dozens of con-
shaded riverine aquatic, or SRA, vegetation. Concerns           crete piers supporting an eight-lane interstate highway over-
Volume 16, Issue 2                                                                                                        Page 3

pass. Extensive replanting of native vegetation along          throughout the Guadalupe Watershed.
stepped planters is re-establishing riparian vegetation
and habitat values to the extent possible.                      Construction of the Guadalupe River project in downtown San
                                                               Jose has resulted in the rediscovery of the Guadalupe River in
 Recreational goals of the project are met, in part, by cov-   the heart of downtown San Jose. Cities throughout the area
ering the concrete culvert roof with several feet of soil,     have now joined the water district to embrace policies and
contributing additional lands to allow the creation of         guidelines for protecting local streams while allowing for com-
more than 60 acres of new parks, trails and open space         patible land development and continued economic growth.
in the downtown urban core, where land is valued at $2
million-plus per acre.

 When upstream and downstream projects are com-
pleted, more than 25 miles of trails will wind along the
Guadalupe River corridor from San Francisco Bay to the
Santa Cruz mountains foothills.

 The project also includes a commitment by the Corps for
the first three years, and by the water district for the re-
maining life of the project, to measure the success of the
project to meet environmental mitigation commitments.
An Adaptive Management Team, comprised of members
of the original collaborative process, meets annually to
review monitoring results for specific measurable objec-
tives and makes recommendations to better achieve the

 Measurements of SRA vegetation, bank and channel-
bottom stability, water temperature, fish-spawning gravel
quality and anadromous fish occurrence all contribute to
the collective evaluation of the project. The water district
takes Adaptive Management Team recommendations
into account when planning for annual maintenance pro-
jects in the river.
                                                                What’s next? The Santa Clara Valley Water District, in partner-
 Collaboration among the diverse interests was essential       ship with the Corps of Engineers and City of San Jose, is plan-
to plan, design and construct a project of this magnitude.     ning construction of a six-mile-long, $220 million flood protec-
The working relationships established among representa-        tion project on Upper Guadalupe River, which will complete a
tives of the resource protection agencies, environmental       20-mile long urban river corridor from San Francisco Bay to the
and recreational interest groups and project sponsors          Santa Cruz mountains foothills.
has continued beyond the Guadalupe River project
through the establishment of the Guadalupe Watershed
Integration Working Group. That ongoing forum continues
to allow multi-interest collaboration on planned trails,
flood protection and creek-restoration projects located
Volume 16, Issue 2                                                                                                           Page 4

                                                           2006 Awards Program Unveiled
  Floodplain Management                                            By Mark Seits, Awards Program Chair
  Association Board, 2005-
            2006                       How often do we look back and kick ourselves for missing an opportunity to recognize and
                                      acknowledge someone for their significant efforts or accomplishments. We get caught up in
CHAIR                                 the demands of life, both personally and professionally, and forget to take the time to really
Eric Clyde                            recognize what others are doing. All too often we don’t even realize it until permanent dam-
Montgomery Watson-Harza               age is done to the relationship or, worse yet, the relationship is severed. How is it that we can
                                      always find the time to recognize when someone has failed to meet our expectations?
Jeanne Ruefer                          There are many ways to recognize individual and team accomplishments in the professional
County of Washoe Dept. of Water       world (you’re on your own for your personal relationships), but receiving an award in front of
Resources                             your peers, has to be one of the most rewarding and fulfilling. When you take the time to
                                      think about what someone has done, write it out and submit it, you are communicating how
                                      much you value that person(s).
Tom Smythe
Lake County Flood Control WC
                                      FMA is proud to unveil a ‘new and improved’ Awards Program for 2006. If you are a member
TREASURER                             of FMA, you have the opportunity to nominate someone you know in one of the following ar-
Pal Hegedus                           eas:
RBF Consulting
                                      Floodplain Manager of the Year
DIRECTOR                              This award seeks to recognize outstanding individual efforts and contributions to floodplain
Mark Seits                            management. The Floodplain Manager of the Year is designed to honor an individual respon-
HDR Engineering                       sible for the development of a distinguished local program or activity. This award is given by
                                      the Association to individuals who are highly instrumental in carrying forward the goals and
DIRECTOR                              objectives of floodplain management.
Kevin Eubanks
Clark County Regional Flood Control
                                      Award for Excellence
                                      This award seeks to find and recognize outstanding floodplain management projects, pro-
DIRECTOR                              grams and/or activities. Eligible entries include local, regional, and national government
Rosalia Rojo                          (such as cities, towns, counties, State, and Federal agencies), special districts, and private
City of Los Angeles                   consulting engineers/firms. Eligible entries include either an overall program or a specific
                                      project or activity which epitomizes the best in floodplain management.
Marty Teal                            Hogg-
                                      Hogg-Owen Award for Meritorious Achievement in Floodplain Management
WEST Consultants                      This award recognizes individuals who have achieved success in a significant aspect of flood-
                                      plain management. These efforts shall include, but not be limited to, education, government,
IMMEDIATE PAST CHAIR                  policy, research, litigation, outreach, implementation or other actions which demonstrate the
Mark Gookin                           advancement of flood loss reduction within the nominee's professional realm.
Wood Rodgers

EX OFFICIO MEMBER                     Distinguished Service Award
Maria Lorenzo Lee                     This award is given to recognize individuals who, through their long term efforts, have clearly
California Dept. of Water Resources   influenced the realm of floodplain management and/or the work of the Association.

EX OFFICIO MEMBER                     Andy Lee Award for Extraordinary Public Service
Kim Groenewold                        This award is given to individuals who have made extraordinary contributions benefiting the
Nevada Division of Water Resources    public. The award may be given to either public or private sector recipients.

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR                    Media Award
Iovanka Todt                          This award was established to acknowledge exemplary efforts on the part of communications
Floodplain Management Association     media (written and/or visual) to increase information and/or awareness of flood issues with
                                      the general public.

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