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HEC-RAS Modeling for Proposed Solutions to Flooding on Pescadero Road

Denise Tu M.S., E.I.T., Ecoengineer and Hydrogist, cbec eco engineering, Santa Cruz,
CA,, 916-668-5226 (presenter)

Chris Hammersmark, Ph.D., P.E., Principal Ecoengineer, cbec eco engineering, Santa
Cruz, CA,, 916-668-5236

John Stofleth, M.S., P.E. Ecoengineer and Hydrogist, cbec eco engineering,
Wadesville, IN,, 916-668-5246

Dale Meck M.S., E.I.T., Ecoengineer and Hydrogist, cbec eco engineering, Santa
Cruz, CA,, 916-668-5244

Ethan Bell, Senior Fisheries Ecologist, Stillwater Sciences, Morro Bay, CA,, 805-570-7499 x501

Proposed Theme Track: Integrated, Multi-Objective Floodplain management OR

Flood Risk Assessment, Modeling and Mapping

Butano Creek is the largest tributary to Pescadero Creek located along the Pacific
Coast of San Mateo County, California. Butano Creek regularly floods Pescadero
Road after minor rainfall events and this frequent flooding has been impacting
access to the town of Pescadero for decades. The road is situated at the upstream
extent of the Pescadero Marsh, at the base of a watershed comprised primarily of
highly erodible material and in a reach with an extremely low gradient. This area
was prone to flooding and sediment deposition prior to anthropogenic influences on
the marsh as well as in the watershed upstream. In addition to its geographic
setting, a number of human disturbances in the watershed (e.g., timber harvesting
and channel straightening) have had profound effects upon the condition and
function of the channel and watershed with respect to sediment delivery, storage,
and aquatic habitat. The goal of this project is to develop and analyze sustainable
solutions that are cost effective and feasible to reduce flooding at Pescadero Road
while protecting or minimizing impacts to endangered species (e.g., California red-
legged frog (Rana draytonii), San Francisco garter snake (Thamnophis sirtalis
tertrataenia), tidewater goby (Eucyclogobius newberryi) , coho salmon
(Oncorhynchus kisutch), and steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss)) and the various
habitats they depend on. A number of solutions were developed and analyzed,
which varied from localized solutions such as limited dredging near Pescadero Road
to watershed-scale solutions involving multiple actions addressing sediment
reduction, improvement of infrastructure and the restoration of aquatic habitat.
Hydrodynamic and sediment transport models were developed with HEC-RAS and
these models were utilized to analyze and rank the proposed solutions.