Pescadero and Butano Creeks Watershed Sediment TMDL
On its December 11, 2018 meeting, State Board adopted the resolution to approve a Basin Plan amendment to establish a sediment TMDL and an implementation plan for the Pescadero-Butano Watershed. Here are final versions of relevant documents associated with this project.
- Final Basin Plan Amendment language
- Final Staff Report supporting the amendment
- Final Signed Regional Water Board Resolution No. R2-2018-0027
- Final Signed State Board Resolution No. 2018-0058
The next steps are reviews of the Basin Plan amendment and the supporting administrative record by the Office of Administrative Law and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The Basin Plan amendment will become effective once approved by the Office of Administrative Law.
September 18, 2018 – State Board will accept public comments on the proposed approval of Basin Plan amendment to establish a sediment TMDL and an implementation plan for the Pescadero-Butano Watershed. The public notice for this Basin Plan amendment provides information on the comment period and the public hearing.
June 6, 2018: The supporting documents for the Basin Plan amendment for the Pescadero-Butano Watershed Sediment Total Maximum Daily Load and Habitat Enhancement Plan prepared in advance of the June 13, 2018 Board meeting (agenda) are available below:
- Staff Summary Report
- Appendix A – Tentative Resolution
- Appendix B – Proposed Basin Plan Amendment
- Appendix C – Staff Report
- Appendix D – Response to Comments
- Appendix E – Comment Letters Received
The Pescadero and Butano Creeks flow westerly and drain approximately 81 mi2of the Santa Cruz Mountains in western San Mateo and Santa Cruz Counties and enters the Pacific Ocean near the town of Pescadero. The watershed contains steep forested slopes, deep canyons with steep inner gorges, a coastal valley, and rolling hills and grasslands near the coast. While the Pescadero sub-watershed is 58 mi2, the Butano sub-watershed is 23 mi2. Pescadero Marsh, a 320 acre brackish and freshwater wetland at the confluence of Pescadero Creek and Butano Creek, is one of the most significant coastal wetlands on the central California. It is composed of an estuary/seasonal freshwater lagoon, fresh and brackish water marshes, brackish water ponds, and riparian areas along stream channels. The watershed provides habitat for a diverse array of aquatic life, including steelhead trout, and in the recent past, coho salmon. Other listed species that are also dependent on habitats within the Pescadero marsh include tidewater goby, San Francisco garter snake, and California red-legged frog.
Due to land use changes in the watershed, sediment input to the channels doubled in the last 150 years and sediment storage along the channels and the valley has been eliminated. In addition, channel incision have disconnected the channels from their floodplains and converted sediment storage reservoirs into sediment sources. The zone of sediment storage in the western quarter of the watershed shifted from channels and the valley downstream to the lagoon and marsh. The lagoon, which is one of the most sensitive habitats for listed species, now receives more sediment. There is more sediment input to the channels, no storage, and a very efficient drainage system that transports all sediment eroded from the hills and channels downstream into the lagoon and marsh where most of it deposits.
San Francisco Bay Regional Water Board Public Process
NEW – February 13, 2018: The public comment period for the Pescadero-Butano Watershed Sediment Total Maximum Daily Load Draft Staff Report and Basin Plan amendment has been extended to March 14, 2018. The revised public notice for this Basin Plan amendment provides information on the comment period and the public hearing.
This Staff Report for the Pescadero-Butano Watershed Sediment Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) and Habitat Enhancement Plan presents the supporting documentation for a proposed Basin Plan amendment that will be considered by the San Francisco Bay Water Board to restore water quality for sediment and habitat conditions and to facilitate the recovery of listed populations of coho salmon and steelhead in the Pescadero-Butano watershed.
Comments on the draft TMDL and Basin Plan amendment should be sent by mail to:
San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board
ATTN: Setenay Bozkurt-Frucht
1515 Clay Street, Suite 1400
Oakland, CA 94612
Or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
On June 30, 2015, Regional Water Board staff hosted a public workshop and CEQA scoping meeting. A summary overview of the CEQA scoping meeting is available for download. The presentations can be found at the links below.
- Public workshop presentation, part 1 of 2 (A description of the proposed amendment, including the conditions in the Pescadero-Butano watershed)
- CEQA scoping meeting presentation, part 2 of 2 (Scope and content of the proposed amendment and environmental documents to be prepared)
The comment period is now closed.
- Notice of a public workshop and California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) scoping meeting at the Pescadero Community Church on June 30, 2015
- Pescadero-Butano Watershed Sediment TMDL Project Definition and Project Plan (September 2013)
- Tracking Channel Changes and Sediment in the Pescadero-Butano Watershed (February 12, 2015 Public Presentation)
Studies and Reference Materials
- The Evolution of Pescadero Marsh (Viollis, 1979)
- Sediment and Hydrologic Analysis of Pescadero Marsh and its Watershed (Robert Curry, 1985)
- Pescadero Marsh Natural Preserve Hydrological Enhancement Plan (PWA, 1990)
- Pescadero-Butano Watershed Assessment (ESA, 2004)
- CCC Coho Salmon ESU Recovery Plan (NOAA Fisheries, 2012)
- Pescadero-Butano Watershed: Assessment of Historical Channel, Floodplain, and Estuarine Changes, Sediment Delivery, and Sediment Yield (BalanceGeo, 2015)
- Pescadero Lagoon Science Panel Final Report (PLSP, 2016)
- Central California Coast Steelhead Multispecies Plan (NMFS, 2016)
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For more information contact:Setenay Bozkurt Frucht
Water Resource Control Engineer
San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board
1515 Clay St., Suite 1400
Phone: (510) 622-2388
Fax: (510) 622-2460