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A Decade of Changes in the Wildcat Creek Flood Control Channel, North Richmond


A Decade of Changes in the Wildcat Creek Flood Control Channel, North Richmond Abstract: The lower Wildcat Creek flood control and riparian restoration project was one of the first of its kind and is commonly cited in literature on river restoration. The project was initially constructed in 1989 but was reworked in 2000. The project consists of small low flow channel which meanders through a riparian corridor which is adjacent to a larger flood plain. Contra Costa County conducted yearly cross-sectional surveys of the channel until the year 2005 when they abruptly stopped. These surveys were instrumental in determining morphological changes to the channel due to deposition of sediment and scouring of the channel. Survey data was crucial in determining whether sediment removal was necessary to keep the project functioning. I went out to the project site in early May 2008 to survey six cross-sections of the channel. These cross-sections were compared to cross-sections from previous years, at the same locations, and it was determined that channel morphology is continuing to change. Sediment has been building up on the flood control plain and scouring has occurred in the low flow channel. In order to better understand what maintenance must be done to keep the project working to its full potential the practice of annually surveying the channel must continue.

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