"The completion of this project is a great moment for our community, and I was proud to work with folks in our region to make it a reality," said Congressman Jerry McNerney at a gathering of officials last week to acknowledge the project's completion.
Both the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service in California and the Alameda County Resource Conservation District were involved with other partners in the restoration efforts. Approximately $1.2 million went toward construction, design work and contracting, permitting fees, monitoring and maintenance.
"Bringing back federal resources to better our neighborhood has always been a priority of mine, and now we see the wonderful result that will not only protect natural resources, but reduce flood risk in our region," McNerney said.
The work included planting native vegetation and returning 600 feet of the arroyo to its proper function, according to Jonathan Groveman, a spokesman for Natural Resources Conservation Service. Now the waterway and its banks will serve as a protected habitat for threatened species, with reduced erosion of the stream's bank and reduced flood risks.
Arroyo de la Laguna runs underneath the Verona Road bridge, a popular pedestrian and bicycle bridge south of Castlewood. The project included installing permanent informational panels to educate visitors on the importance and environmental benefits of the work.
Restoration features can be seen near the bridge, including native plants such as willows and cottonwood to prevent soil erosion and to expand habitat for local wildlife. Rock and log structures that help stabilize the slope are also visible.
Arroyo de la Laguna is the main tributary to Alameda Creek, which is the second largest drainage to the San Francisco Bay, with a watershed that covers about 700 square miles. Within the watershed are protected parks, wildlife and water supply areas, rangeland, and urban and suburban development.
Local agencies collaborating on the Arroyo de la Laguna project were the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, Alameda County Public Works Department, Alameda County Flood Control and Water Conservation District, and Zone Seven Water Agency.
"I congratulate everyone who made this day happen," McNerney said at the gathering last week.