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Upper Truckee Marsh Restoration Project

The Upper Truckee Marsh was once the largest wetland in the Tahoe Basin but has been disturbed by human activity, most prominently by the dredging and filling done to construct the Tahoe Keys. This project restored and enhanced over 250 acres of floodplain by returning river flows to the center of the marsh by constructing new channels, removing fill, and adding wetlands. Rewetting the marsh allows it to act as a natural pollution filter, improving water quality before it reaches Lake Tahoe. A wetter marsh will be more resilient to droughts, flooding, and other climate change impacts.

Ascent played a lead role in restoration efforts at the Upper Truckee Marsh that have been under way since the late 1990s to restore the natural functions of the river and adjacent wetlands. Ascent principals led the planning and the environmental documentation for the first phase of the restoration, which resulted in construction of the Lower Westside Wetland Restoration Project. Ascent staff then led planning and environmental review for full geomorphic restoration of the lowest river reach and the Upper Truckee Marsh next to the lake. Work included directing the planning, environmental review, and permitting process for the project through the Draft EIR/EIS/EIS. This involved developing and evaluating four restoration and public access alternatives and conducting stakeholder outreach.

Since 2017, Ascent, ESA, Northwest Hydraulic Consultants, and Balance Hydrologics have worked with the California Tahoe Conservancy to complete the final design and permitting, as well as develop a project monitoring plan and an invasive species management plan. Ascent also prepared the Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan and several permit applications, including a USACE Section 404 Permit and a CDFW Lake and Streambed Alteration Agreement. Our natural resources team also prepared a contractor training guide to educate people working on the project on how to protect biological resources and water quality.

California Tahoe Conservancy
South Lake Tahoe, California
ESA, Balance Hydrologics, and Northwest Hydraulic Consultants

Project Contact

Kelley Kelso, CPESC, QSD/QSP, QISP
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