A Visual Journey: Restoring California’s Floodplains

California’s Central Valley needs nature-based solutions to reduce flood risk, recover native species, and improve ecosystem resilience.

Credit: Daniel Nylen

Click here to launch the visual tour of California’s floodplains

2017 has been a landmark year for floodplains in California’s Central Valley.

The 2017 Central Valley Flood Protection Plan Update now embraces a dramatically different approach called “multi-benefit” flood management. This approach recognizes that by reconnecting floodplains and expanding floodways and flood bypasses, we can reduce flood risk to people and property while providing multiple benefits including habitat for fish and wildlife, improved recreational opportunities, groundwater recharge, and improved water quality, to name a few. American Rivers has been championing this approach for the last decade.

In addition, great strides were made in advancing specific multi-benefit projects that will help achieve ecological outcomes outlined in the new flood plan. American Rivers is leading and assisting in planning efforts on several projects that are identified in the new Plan as priority projects. Projects that actually broke ground this year include West Sacramento’s Southport levee setback project, the Hamilton City levee setback project, and the Yolo Bypass Adult Fish Passage Improvement project. You can see where these are happening and learn more about them on our revamped multi-benefit flood management website.

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