Member Spotlight Nov. 2020: Alameda County Water District Working Within Broad Collaboration to Restore Bay Area Steelhead Runs

  • by ACWA Staff
  • Nov 20, 2020

A Central Coast steelhead makes its way upstream in Alameda Creek, where the Alameda County Water District is building fish passages as part of a broad collaborative effort to help further restore anadromous fish runs.

Collaboration among ACWA member agency Alameda County Water District (ACWD), a construction firm and environmental groups has secured $2 million in funding for migratory fish passage projects in lower Alameda Creek in the San Francisco Bay Area. 

The successful milestone demonstrates that long-term public, private and non-governmental organization partnerships can achieve multi-layered goals such as environmental enhancements while protecting water supplies. 

ACWD’s fish passage projects include the construction of fish ladders, fish screens and other fish-friendly improvements in lower Alameda Creek to support safe and unobstructed migration of Central Coast steelhead trout. Following decades of planning, ACWD is currently in the second of a three-year construction schedule to round out its final phase of salmon and steelhead passage projects in Alameda Creek.

Alameda Creek is a local water supply and accounts for roughly 40% of ACWD’s water serving 357,000 people in Fremont, Newark and Union City. The fish passage projects will allow ACWD to continue operations of its rubber dams and other facilities along the creek to recharge the area’s Niles Cone Groundwater Basin sustainably. 

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers constructed flood control projects on the creek during the 1970s that blocked migratory access to most of the Alameda Creek watershed. Its Central Coast steelhead trout run was declared endangered in 1977, and by 1998, just 35 of the fish were radio tagged as volunteers helped trap and carry them over a weir. 

When completed, the new fish passages will re-open access to the entire watershed and hopefully nurture healthier runs numbering in the hundreds, if not thousands, of the anadromous fish.

DeSilva Gates Construction, operator of the DeSilva Gates Aggregates Quarry in Sunol, recently made the first of two $1 million payments to help fund the fish passage projects. This financial support from DeSilva Gates Construction will aid in the completion of ACWD’s projects that will improve access to migratory routes creating a more fish-friendly waterway and access for steelhead and salmon to spawning and rearing habitat throughout the Alameda Creek watershed.

“Alameda Creek fisheries restoration is near to my heart,” stated ACWD Board President Judy Huang, in an ACWD news release. “It is not common to see this type of cooperation between organizations who have different interests,” added Huang. “Working together, we found a path forward that leads to success, and many thanks to DeSilva Gates Construction, for their generosity.”

Since 2008, a Conservation Plan for the Sunol gravel quarry has been in place through the partnership to protect and conserve special-status species and enhance biological resources in Sunol Valley and the Alameda Creek watershed.

 “This funding helps ACWD complete the long-awaited and most critical fish passage projects in Alameda Creek, a key watershed for restoration of steelhead trout in the Bay Area. The water district’s new fish ladders are going to allow migratory fish to access a significant portion of the watershed,” Jeff Miller of the Alameda Creek Alliance and the Center for Biological Diversity, stated in the news release.

 “Working in concert with the environmental community and a public agency has been very rewarding, and it is an honor to contribute to this important regional effort,” stated DeSilva Gates Vice President Jim Summers. “The agreement that was forged between Alameda Creek Alliance, The Center for Biological Diversity and DeSilva Gates and the $2 million contribution from DeSilva Gates will have a significant positive impact on the restoration of this important watershed.”

ACWD produced a virtual tour of its project that included a “fish eye” view of how it will work when completed. To learn more, visit www.acwd.org/tours.

Suggested Resources

15 RESOURCES prev next
Coalition Letter: Request to Advance Wildfire Legislation

To: Speaker Pelosi, Majority Leader McConnell, Leader Schumer and Leader McCarthy Subject: Coalition Request to Advance Wildfire Legislation Letter excerpt: […]

Coalition Letter: Advance Clean Fleets Workshop

Agency: California Air Resources Board Subject: Coalition Comments on the September 18, 2020 Advanced Clean Fleets Workshop Letter excerpt: The signatories […]

2020 Summary of Legislation

Sorry, but only ACWA members have permission to view this content. Member login is required.

2020 Summary of Appellate Cases

Sorry, but only ACWA members have permission to view this content. Member login is required.

Amicus Curiae Letter Requesting Depublication of Malott v. Summerland Sanitary District

To: California Supreme Court Subject: Request for Depublication of Malott v. Summerland Sanitary District (2020) _Cal.App.5th_ [2020 WL 6128117] (Case No. […]

Comment Letter: At Risk Assessment 2.0 for Public Water Systems

Agency: State Water Resources Control Board Subject: ACWA and CMUA Comments regarding Draft Final White Paper Discussion on Evaluation of Potential Indicators & […]

Property Tax and Reserve Funds

Property Tax and Reserve Funds policy principles document includes information on the following: Property Taxes Reserve Funds Specific Policy Principles […]

Letter to Gov. Newsom on Roadmap to Achieving the Voluntary Agreements

To: Governor Newsom Subject: Roadmap to Achieving the Voluntary Agreements Letter excerpt: As the State continues to overcome a myriad of immediate […]

A Roadmap to Achieving the Voluntary Agreements

“A Roadmap to Achieving the Voluntary Agreements” provides an urgent call to action to re-engage the state on the Voluntary […]

Amicus Curiae Letter in Support of Rate-Setting Case

To: California Supreme Court Subject: In Support of Petition for Review Coachella Valley Water District v. Superior Court of the […]

Federal Regulatory Issues Chart

Sorry, but only ACWA members have permission to view this content. Member login is required.

Comment Letter: Draft 2020 Agricultural Water Management Plan Guidebook

Agency:  California Department of Water Resources Subject: Comments on the Public Review Draft of the 2020 AWMP Guidebook Letter excerpt: The […]

Comment Letter: Urban Water Management Plan Guidebook 2020

Agency:  California Department of Water Resources Subject: Urban Water Management Plan Guidebook 2020 – Comment Letter Letter excerpt: The Association […]

Comment Letter: Draft Cost Methodology for Public Water Systems & Domestic Wells

Agency:  State Water Resources Control Board Subject: ACWA and CMUA Comments regarding Draft White Paper Discussion On: Long Term Solutions Cost […]

Suggested News

15 Articles prev next
EVMWD Further Postpones Rate Increase to April 1

To assist customers financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, Elsinore Valley Municipal Water District (EVMWD) will further delay the pending […]

Board Approves $26 Million Budget for 2021

PALMDALE – A $26.24 million budget for calendar year 2021 was adopted with a 5-0 vote by the Palmdale Water […]

ACWA and Partners Urge Congress to Act on Wildfire Legislation

WASHINGTON, D.C. – ACWA, in coordination with several associations, water agencies, and counties, sent a letter today to Congressional leaders […]

ACWA Virtual Fall Conference Features Water Leaders and Experts

SACRAMENTO – The Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA) will host its 2020 Fall Virtual Conference & Exhibition on Dec. 2-3 […]

Orange County Water District Retains ‘AAA’ Fitch Rating for 13 th Consecutive Year

FOUNTAIN VALLEY–The Orange County Water District’s (OCWD; the District) commitment to sound financial management was reaffirmed when Fitch Ratings assigned […]

EMWD and You: Working Together for a Healthy Sewer System

PERRIS — November 19, 2020, is World Toilet Day which was established by the United Nations to raise awareness of […]

EMWD Hosts Virtual State of the District

PERRIS — Eastern Municipal Water District (EMWD) today hosted its virtual State of the District event to provide key stakeholders […]

ACWA News Available for Nov. 20, 2020

Sorry, but only ACWA members have permission to view this content. Member login is required.

Member Spotlight Nov. 2020: Alameda County Water District Working Within Broad Collaboration to Restore Bay Area Steelhead Runs

Collaboration among ACWA member agency Alameda County Water District (ACWD), a construction firm and environmental groups has secured $2 million […]

Fall Conference Builds on Summer’s Virtual Success

You will not want to miss ACWA’s 2020 Virtual Fall Conference & Exhibition for a long list of reasons, including […]

Faces of Water: Peter Henrie

  1. Describe your job. I operate the 35 million-gallons-a-day Leslie O. Carter Water Treatment Plant and manage the distribution […]

Yuba Water Sues State Water Board

MARYSVILLE – Yuba Water Agency filed lawsuits in both federal and state court Nov. 13 to challenge the water quality […]

Region’s Water Quality Celebrated by Switchfoot Musician Jon Foreman

As part of its campaign to promote the quality of local water supplies, the San County Diego Water Authority and […]

McMullin Area GSA Video Provides Narrative for Achieving Sustainability

The McMullin Area Groundwater Sustainability Agency (MAGSA), in collaboration with J Comm, Inc., have created a visually engaging video highlighting […]

Yuba Water invests approximately $1 million to reduce flood risk, other improvements

MARYSVILLE– Yuba Water Agency’s board of directors today approved approximately $1 million in grants for flood risk reduction, water quality […]