In November of 2003, a crew from the Sonoma County Water Agency cleared out trees, bushes and vegetation from a 300-yard section of the creek where members of the Casa Grande High School United Anglers program had worked for more than 20 years to restore the creek as a habitat for steelhead trout.
The incident prompted a six-page grand jury report, ?Adobe Creek Debacle and Restoration,? and a misdemeanor charge against the SCWA. The agency reached a settlement in September of 2004 when a Sonoma County Superior Court commissioner agreed to dismiss the charge if the SCWA took corrective actions.
The SCWA then contracted with the Southern Sonoma County Resource Conservation District to take a long-term approach to handling flood control along the stretch.
Recently, after four years of planning, meetings and permits, most of the restoration of the creek has been completed.
?The goal of our project was twofold: to address the needs of flood control and to help save an endangered salmon species,? said Jason Sweeney, watershed coordinator for the resource district and manager of the project.
?Our project focused on balancing these somewhat competing needs and to also support the ongoing work of the United Anglers,? he said.
The section of the creek that was improved runs through an eastside neighborhood near Sartori Drive and Del Oro Park. More sediment tends to drop into this channelized section than in the natural part of the creek, Sweeney said.
?It?s been a long haul,? he said, ?and the creek has gone through a lot of changes since we started. But the channel is evolving nicely.?
The long process included permits from the Army Corps of Engineers and the National Marine Fisheries Service, funding from the Zone 2A Flood Advisory Committee and an environmental review to meet California Environ-mental Quality Act standards.
Sweeney also held meetings with neighbors, city parks and water officials, the city?s Tree Advisory Committee, United Anglers director Tom Furrer and other interested parties.