From the Grand Junction Free Press (Hannah Holm):
• Grand Valley Riparian Restoration Collaborative Project: The Grand Junction-based Tamarisk Coalition is sponsoring this project, which seeks to comprehensively restore the Colorado River corridor in Mesa County. The project will replace invasive plant species with native vegetation in order to improve habitat for wildlife and fish species. These actions will also improve river access and recreational opportunities. The CWCB approved $250,000 in Water Supply Reserve Account funding for the project; total project costs are expected to total almost $430,000.
• Tenmile Creek Restoration Project: This project, sponsored by the Blue River Watershed Group, seeks to enhance floodplain connectivity, habitat quality, scenery, and wetlands function along Tenmile Creek, near the Copper Mountain Ski Area. This area has been impacted for decades by mining, timbering, ski area development, railroad and highway construction. The project will increase sinuosity and length in the stream channel, increase pool habitat and cover for fish, and increase the total area of vegetated wetlands. It will also create a vegetated buffer between the stream and State Highway 91, reducing stream sedimentation and flood damage to the highway. The CWCB approved $350,000 in Water Supply Reserve Account funds for the project, which is expected to cost a total of $620,000.
• Colorado River Restoration and Conservation Projects: This project, sponsored by the Eagle River Watershed Council, will create baseline information about the stretch of the Colorado River that flows through Eagle County, which has been little studied. The project will prioritize rehabilitation strategies and assess recreational impacts in order to guide recreation to the most suitable sites on the river. The CWCB approved $110,000 in WSRA funding for the $196,501 project.
• Crystal River Watershed – Assessment and Design of Restoration Projects: This project, sponsored by the Roaring Fork Conservancy, will develop a comprehensive restoration plan for the Coal Basin, Coal Creek road corridor, and the Coal Creek/Crystal River confluence area. This area is heavily impacted by historic coal mining. The restoration plan will include the design and prioritization of projects to improve the connection of the channel to the floodplain, restore floodplain function at the Coal Creek/Crystal River confluence area, improve overall riparian and instream habitat and reduce sediment and total iron delivery to the Crystal River from Coal Creek. WSRA funds approved for this project totaled $317,073; total project costs are expected to exceed $500,000.
• Relief Ditch Diversion Modification Construction: Trout Unlimited is sponsoring this project, which will replace a pushup dam on the Gunnison River east of Delta with permanent diversion, equip the ditch with a modern head gate, and rehabilitate the eroded riverbanks at the diversion point. The project will reduce fish loss in the canal, reduce sedimentation from eroding banks, improve the management of the Relief Ditch, and restore impaired habitat. The CWCB approved $50,000 in Water Supply Reserve Account funds for this project. Total project costs are expected to exceed $900,000.
• Gunnison River System Assessment and Restoration Project: This project, sponsored by the City of Gunnison and Colorado Parks & Wildlife, will collect detailed data along a heavily used stretch of the Gunnison River near Gunnison and then develop and implement projects to improve the river channel’s function. Intended project benefits include improved fishery health, water quality, access to irrigation water and recreational user experiences. The project was approved for $220,000 in WSRA funds. The total project budget is $292,600.