Santa Ana River Salt Marsh Restoration: Orange County, California, U.S.A.

by Lan-Yin Li Weber, (M.ASCE),

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: North American Water and Environment Congress & Destructive Water


As part of the All-River Plan of the Santa Aria River, the 92 acre Santa Ana River Marsh (Marsh) was constructed at the Pacific Ocean outlet in Orange County, California. This project involved comprehensive civil, hydraulic, coastal and environmental studies and design. Major challenges for this project include: (1) The Marshs tidal fluctuation is highly influenced by the Santa Ana River mouth opening; construction and maintenance of the marsh must be closely coordinated with the Santa Ana River Channelization Project; (2) Pacific cordgrass (spartina foliosa) is the primary objective for low marsh planting which requires sufficient tidal exchange and special plant and soils treatment, and (3) The subtidal channel is close to residential areas; flood protection must be considered in the tidal exchange design. This paper provides an overview of the marsh design and construction processes. The paper also reports the continuing efforts in Pacific cordgrass planting and retrofitting of the drainage system to increase the planting success of the pacific cordgrass.

Subject Headings: Ecological restoration | Rivers and streams | Salts | Tides | Project management | Hydraulic design | Residential construction | Channels (waterway) | California | United States | Pacific Ocean

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