An $8.6 million contract will restore 770 acres of land along the J Levee. This is the new project for the local River Partners. The first phase of the project will be just south of Hamilton City and it will help protect the city from floods. Grigsby-Puente said,”the earth-moving portion of the first phase of the project is 80 percent complete.” None of which would be possible without the help of the Nature Conservancy obtaining and then donating land for the project, which served as the “local match” to obtain federal funds. The project will include 6.8 miles of setback levees that will allow the river more room to move naturally over time. In the first phase 160,000 trees and plants will be planted, many of which are native plants purchased from Floral Native Nursery in Chico.
“The J Levee project is the first in the nation under federal Army Corps of Engineers guidelines that combine flood risk reduction and ecosystem restoration.” It’s very exciting, not only for the ground breaking first but also for the many benefits it brings including, groundwater recharge, improvement of the salmon habitat along the bank and inland from the water. Phase two is still to come, but combined, phase one and two will cover 1,500 acres of land.
You can read more about this project on the Oroville MR website (link below).