Coastal Watershed Restoration Program: Drakes Estero Road Crossing Improvement Project
The Drakes Estero Road Crossings Improvement Project includes a number of specific physical treatments within five coastal watersheds, all draining into the Drakes Estero system. This area is recognized as a part of the most intact and ecologically significant estuarine areas in the state of California. The restoration will provide for the return of the natural hydrologic regime in the Drakes Estero system and ultimately allow for the reintroduction and enhancement of endangered aquatic populations. The project area lies within the Central California Ecologically Sensitive Unit for the federally listed coho salmon and steelhead trout and contains habitat critical to these species' survival. During a storm in January 2006, six of the nine project sites experienced hydrologic failure that resulted in serious flood damage to adjacent structures, historic buildings and roadways, further highlighting the need to replace these structures as soon as possible. The project will restore five coastal watersheds within the park's wilderness area by removing facilities from wilderness and estuarine areas, and replacing existing road crossings with structures that allow for natural hydrologic process and fish passage for anadromous salmonids and other aquatic species.
In 2004, Point Reyes National Seashore proposed replacement or improvements to culverted road crossings at 6 locations within the Drakes Estero Watershed. The need for the project was to repair or replace existing road-crossing facilities in a manner that is sustainable ecologically and hydrologically, with infrastructure that will require less maintenance for long-term park operations. This Environmental Assessment evaluates the potential environmental consequences of three alternative strategies for implementing the Coastal Watershed Restoration - Culvert Replacement Project.
Finding of No Significant Impact - October 12, 2006 (1,356 KB PDF)
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Did You Know?
Since the restoration of the Giacomini Wetlands in 2008, the tidewater goby--a federally endangered brackish-water resident fish species--has not only been observed in the newly restored channels and ponds, but in Lagunitas Creek, where it had previously not been documented since 1953. More...