The Palo Alto Horizontal Levee Pilot (PAHLP) project is a novel and innovative initiative that links nature-based solutions to achieve habitat improvement, public access, flood protection and water quality improvement.
The San Francisco Bay has over two centuries of habitat loss and ecological degradation due to human activity. It is well established that the impact of these activities has modified important natural processes including freshwater flows, tidal exchanges, and the abundance of native species in some areas. These losses have led to fragmentation of habitats with reduced wildlife populations and systems that lack resilience to changing conditions. Meanwhile, the importance of restoration projects that achieve multiple objectives while repairing these natural processes is also well demonstrated.
Overall project objective: The PAHLP project will engage communities and technical experts to design and permit a multi-benefit horizontal levee adjacent to the RWQCP. The project will restore critical habitat, support watershed adaptation to climate change, and improve water quality.
- Restore rare and historic transitional habitat along the Bay’s shoreline for special status species.
- Adapt to sea level rise by providing a vegetated slope that will support freshwater plants to build organic soils to keep pace with and allow wetland habitat to migrate up slope with rising water levels.
- Provide polishing treatment of tertiary-treated wastewater.
- Engage diverse populations of residents and interested stakeholders in sea level rise adaptation, habitat restoration, and shoreline planning activities.
This project is a part of the Transforming Urban Water Initiative.