New channels give Jacoby Creek flooding relief, eco-boost

The South Jacoby Creek Wetland Enhancement and Restoration Project's channels. City of Arcata graphic

Mad River Union

BAYSIDE – Last Wednesday, Oct. 3, just after 2:30 p.m., Jacoby Creek made a major breakthrough. That was when the last soil barrier between the creek and a vast network of new riparian channels was breached, allowing water to flow in and turn 11 acres of cow pasture into a marsh and wetland complex.

View video of the creek breaching here.

CREEK CREW Mark Andre, director of Environmental Services; Conor Shea, fluvial geomorphologist and engineer with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service; Karen Diemer, Arcata city manager; Emily Benvie, environmental programs manager; Julie Neander, deputy director of Community Services; Stan Shaffer, City of Arcata senior maintenance worker; and Bob Pagliuco, marine habitat resource specialist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Submitted photo

The 2018 South Jacoby Creek Wetland Enhancement and Restoration Project encompasses 30 acres, and will restore connectivity between Jacoby Creek and its floodplain, and aid in recovery of multiple listed species.

The Jacoby Creek watershed supports important habitat for resident and migrating songbirds, waterfowl, and shorebirds; and it supports critical spawning, rearing, and migration habitat for anadromous fish, including coho salmon and steelhead trout.    

The new complex of channels solves some chronic problems with Jacoby Creek. The creek was walled off with levees sometime early in the last century, isolating the flood plain and causing upstream flooding.

The new channels will detain some of the water during high flows, and bring riparian habitat to the pasture.

 

 






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