Tributary Transformation

For an inspirational look at a restoration project completed in an Estuary tributary, take a trip to the Cosumnes River, the last undammed river flowing from the Sierra Nevada to the Central Valley. This flyover video shows the transformation resulting from the Lower Cosumnes River Floodplain Restoration Project,, part of a larger effort to restore the Cosumnes River, a tributary of the Mokelumne River. 

The project, which took over ten years to complete, included a broad partnership between the US Bureau of Land Management, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife Ecosystem Restoration Program, the California Department of Water Resources, Ducks Unlimited, Inc., National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Sacramento County, the Regional Water Authority, US Fish and Wildlife Service’s Anadromous Fisheries Restoration Program, Partners of the Cosumnes River Preserve, and many consultants and contractors. 

The 154-acre project, nicknamed the Cougar Wetlands Project, created tidal channels and restored the area to tidal floodplain habitat through a controlled levee breach in late 2018. “By reconnecting the floodplain at a lower elevation that promotes more frequent floodplain events, we have seen a plethora of species above and below the water line utilizing the natural ecological processes to their advantage,” says Aaron Will, Regional Biologist for Ducks Unlimited. “It has been a pleasure to assist the Bureau of Land Management and a multitude of funders and partners in delivering this great floodplain restoration project.“

For more on this project, visit: