Salsipuedes Creek Flood Control Project


Watsonville is bordered by the Pajaro River and Salsipuedes Creek. Historically, these waterways flooded so frequently that in 1950 the Army Corps of Engineers built flood control levees.  Since then, flooding has occurred four times. City of Watsonville leaders and Santa Cruz County recognize that more must be done to protect the City from destructive flooding.

The County of Santa Cruz Flood Control and Water Conservation District is responsible for maintenance of the Pajaro/Salsipuedes Flood Control channel.  After years of planning, the county implemented the most significant maintenance project since the 1950 levee construction.  Over the last two summers the county used $5 million in grants to remove approximately 300,000 cubic yards of soil from the Pajaro River.  Removing that soil increased the amount of water that can flow through the river, reducing our risk of future flooding. The project included riparian habitat restoration along the river and some of the excavated soil was used for restoration in the nearby Elkhorn Slough.

Our creeks are another area of flood concern. A study commissioned by the City of Watsonville Public Works and Utilities Department revealed that a soil removal project on the Salsipuedes Creek would effectively reduce the risk of flooding in neighborhoods adjacent to the channel. The City and County will apply for permits to the Army Corps of Engineers to implement the project. While there are many steps required, staff is optimistic that the project will be completed in the next few years providing residents much need flood protection.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, December 4th, 2013 at 5:10 pm and is filed under City of Watsonville, Homepage News, Public Works . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.