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cbec eco engineering, inc
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Last week, Dr. Chris Bowles visited our ongoing Southport Levee Setback Project on our doorstep along the Sacramento River in West Sacramento. This is a massive construction project! We have been involved in the design of this project for over 7 years. See our prior construction posts. Things are really moving along now. The setback floodplain has been largely excavated by 10 feet in the South Offset (levee setback area) to help to provide material for the new levee, augmented with clay from nearby borrow sites. Also, the inlets in the South Offset have been constructed. The inlets are breaches through the old existing levee that will allow inundation over the exposed floodplain. Construction is also underway on the North Offset. cbec are currently working with GEI, through our latest project component, to design the restoration project for the exposed floodplain. This project is significant in California not just for flood protection reasons, but the unique situation where floodplain has been lowered by 10 feet for such a huge area (150 acres). Highly connected floodplains along the Sacramento River are rare nowadays due to channel incision as a result of anthropogenic changes (dams, urbanization, etc.). Check back soon for some cool videos of the construction.
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Construction of the Southport setback levee and offset floodplain area is in full swing! You're watching the construction of inlet breaches that allow river water to inundate the setback floodplain. This will provide fantastic floodplain aquatic habitat, much needed along the Sacramento River. The new levee has been constructed off to the left of the view. Excavators and dump trucks are lowering the exposed floodplain to provide material for the new levee construction. This is a massive construction project and it's good to see a plan coming together after several years of planning involving cbec and many others for WSAFCA!
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Always adding to our company skillset, yesterday was old timey bicycle safety training day at cbec. We're joking, but in all seriousness, these are penny-farthing bikes. Chris Bowles said they remind him of his youth back in England. Judging by the way he is riding it, these bikes were invented way before even his youth! Thanks for sharing the bikes for a bit of fun Bike Dog.
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Click thru to read more on an exciting project right on cbec’s doorstep! West Sacramento​'s​ ​Southport ​Levee ​Improvement Project is one of the largest in California. For over ​7 years, cbec staff ​has ​worked on ​the project's ​feasibility,​ ​geomorphic (sediment transport) assessment, and ecological enhancement design. It has been an honor working on this project with the West Sacramento Area Flood Control Agency and American Rivers along the way. We look forward to watching ​this project enter its final phases as we assist with the construction monitoring.
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Last week, our founder and managing director Chris Bowles was visiting a bank erosion site on the River Seven in Yorkshire, England. Excessive bank erosion is threatening the integrity of a flood bank and therefore must be stabilized. Typically, we would look at the causes of this bank erosion. General long term geomorphic degradation of the river has occurred due to anthropogenic impacts; land use management, cattle grazing, upstream urban development, etc. Ideally these would be addressed, and they may be in the long term. In addition, extensive willow growth on the opposite bank is directing flows to impinge directly on the river bank and flood bank. However, in the short term, we need to find a bank stabilization solution. Working with our new partner, Salix we will providing the local Internal Drainage Board (IDB) with simple bank stabilization designs, and utilizing rock rolls, jute matting and other materials provided by Salix. The local IDB will then undertake construction to protect the floodbank. #DontMindTheCows
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Recently, we took part in a knowledge sharing endeavor made possible through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Restoration Webinar Series. cbec Director Chris Hammersmark presented “Floodplain Reconnection on Butano Creek – Design, Implementation and Preliminary Post-Project Results,” which delved into the design, implementation and initial post-project results of a floodplain reconnection project undertaken on Butano Creek, an incised stream along the Central Coast of California. Chris’ webinar was very well received, and the video can be found at the following link if you’re interested in more information.
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Camaraderie was the name of the game last night when our West Sac office ​employees, friends and family ​enjoyed a BBQ followed by a Rivercats game. Unfortunately, the game was a bust, but the backdrop of the Delta breeze, good company, and a cold drink in hand resulted in good times had by all!
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This might look like all fun and games, but being able to navigate a variety of terrains is serious business. A handful of cbec ecoengineers recently attended a day of intense 4 wheel drive training by Off-Road Safety Academy - Blue Sky Adventures, Inc. at Prairie City State Vehicular Recreation Area. From rocky banks to sandy shores, we're prepared for anything a day in the field will throw at us!

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6/12/18
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