BPC Annual Dredging Workshop

The Bay Planning Coalition (BPC) recently held its annual dredging & beneficial reuse workshop, providing latest information on disposal sites in San Francisco Bay as well as an update from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on the status of in-Bay disposal moving into 2018 dredging.

This year’s workshop, which took place November 13, in Oakland, California, covered beneficial reuse opportunities around San Francisco Bay and present insights from agencies and organizations on the permitting process.

The event also provided an update on Measure AA funding, an important measure to raise funds for wetland restoration projects throughout the Bay area.

According to the Corps presentation, the Cullinan Ranch disposal site has a remaining capacity of 2 million cubic yards. USACE also reported that Montezuma Wetlands has received approximately 7.5 million cubic yards of sediment to-date, while the In-Bay disposal site SF-9 may close due to concerns with mounding.

BPC, together with other senior-level staff from experienced organizations and key regulatory agencies, also provided their perspective on important things to keep in mind in getting through the regulatory process and obtaining project approval.

For example: how to consider pre-consultation on project design and CEQA documentation in obtaining a 1600 Agreement or an Incidental Take Permit; taking in consideration that sovereign lands require a lease from the State Lands Commission (SLC) for maintenance dredging; granted lands do not require a lease, BUT applicants must notify SLC in advance with certain project details.

Next to follow was the presentation of Amy Hutzel, Deputy Executive Officer with the State Coastal Conservancy, on the status update on Measure AA, the highly anticipated funding source for restoration projects around San Francisco Bay.

Based on the Baylands and Climate Change: Ecosystem Habitat Goals Science Update in 2015, the goal is to restore 100,000 acres of tidal marsh,” said Amy Hutzel. “Measure AA can fund habitat projects with flood management features and public access or recreation amenities, as well as the beneficial reuse of dredged sediment.

Also discussed during the event were the case studies from other regions, such as Louisiana and its 2017 Coastal Master Plan or Boston and its Climate Ready project, with the strategies that include living shorelines, ecotone creation, and barrier beaches, in addition to marsh restoration.