Petition: Demand a better approach to Erosion Control Projects 3B and 4

We hereby call upon the Army Corps of Engineers, and federal, state, and local agency representatives, to give utmost priority to preserving and conserving  the American River Parkway's unique and irreplaceable environmental, recreational, and wildlife corridor assets, in their flood protection and “erosion” control deliberations. 

The American River Parkway hosts the only federally and state-designated Wild and Scenic River that traverses a major metropolitan area in the United States. The “Crown Jewel of Sacramento” receives over 5 million annual visits from near and far. The areas under consideration are “Protected” areas in the American River Parkway Plan, due to the outstanding habitat of centuries-old trees, wilderness-quality character, and vital wildlife corridor, accessible by all.

While the Sacramento region exists in a historic floodplain, billions of dollars have already been invested over decades that have made the system much safer, including robust levees with deep slurry walls, extensive weirs, and tremendous improvements to Folsom Dam. Sacramento has worked for years to find the right balance between flood protection, and nurturing the fragile riparian habitat of the region’s rivers. The latest proposals, claimed by an opinion panel to be needed to address “erosion” occurring at the water’s edge, miss the mark and would destroy that balance.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ erosion-control designs for American River Contracts 3B and 4B propose the destruction of more than 600 trees and several miles of riparian woodland, and a significant loss of recreational river access and key wildlife habitat. These contracts warrant another look at their justification, and must use the best scientific and most recent data and the most advanced flow modeling techniques and a thorough evaluation of alternatives. This relatively wide, straight stretch of river has withstood high flows, even before the benefit of many dam and levee upgrades.

1,000 signatures

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The planned approach to address potential erosion is unacceptable. The extreme destruction is inconsistent with a wild and scenic river; and the removal of stabilizing trees and vegetation, which protect the banks and levees, could make residents more vulnerable for years. Sacramento’s Crown Jewel deserves the finest care.

We insist that the US Army Corps of Engineers work with local, state and federal officials and the public, to reassess these proposals and methods, and achieve a balance for flood protection that does not destroy hundreds of trees, and degrade the wild and scenic river for generations.

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