Carneros Creek Roads

carneros roads

Carneros Creek Road Sediment Reduction

Storm-Proofing of Carneros Creek Roads Improves Aquatic Habitat

Unpaved roads can have unanticipated effects upon the watersheds in which they are found because they often concentrate runoff, increase erosion, and can potentially deliver excess into streams. These effects can negatively impact aquatic habitat; however, it is possible to mitigate their influence with the implementation of certain storm-proofing techniques. This was the goal of a project in 2009 to reduce the impact of road-related sediment delivery in the Carneros Creek watershed. Treatment of high priority sites and roughly 1.3 miles of road was able to prevent over 2,300 cubic yards of sediment from entering the creek.

Treatments included reshaping of roads to disperse the flow of runoff and treatment of stream crossings to avoid future failures. This initiative helped to protect an important sub-watershed of the Napa River that supports year round habitat for steelhead.

Quick facts:

  • Significance: Unpaved roads in the watershed were assessed and prioritized for their contribution of sediment to the stream system, which contributes to local degradation of aquatic habitat and water quality.
  • Where: Carneros Creek, West of Napa
  • Results: In 2009, the RCD and its partners reduced the amount of road-related sediment delivery to Carneros Creek by over 2,300 cubic yards by treating priority sites (1.3 miles of road) with various storm-proofing techniques.
  • Funds: California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Environmental Protection Agency, State Water Resources Control Board.
  • Partners: RCD, Pacific Watershed Associates, Saintsbury, Charles Hope Construction