In the midst of a severe drought, the last thing on our minds is flooding. Nevertheless, every few years we seem to get intense winter storms that lead to flooding of our streets particularly close to Copeland Creek. Rohnert Park is located within the Laguna de Santa Rosa Watershed, which itself is a significant floodplain. Geologically, the eastern edge of Rohnert Park is the bottom edge of an alluvial fan that is created from the water flows from the relatively steep hillsides of Sonoma Mountains. During the rainy seasons, stormwater and sediment rush into Rohnert Park and cause the parts of the city channels to flood. We are interested in finding ways to reduce this flooding in our community.
I’m proud to share a bit of good news. The city has been selected as one of 22 cities nationally to receive a $6 million hazard mitigation grant. There was a total of 1,227 projects under consideration for the grant. This is a truly amazing accomplishment for our little city.
The grant funds construction of the Copeland Creek Detention Basin infrastructure project. The project will serve to detain peak stormwater flows upstream of the city, so we have less flooding. The design of the Copeland Creek Detention Basin promises environmental enhancements. When built, the basin will be operated to allow controlled flow through a recharge area, which slows the velocity of water flow. More water will be able to percolate the gravels of the creek to enhance groundwater recharge. The design also intends for the construction of low flow areas for fish to hide and rest as they make their way upstream to spawn. Finally, the basin will also be designed for the local flood channels and the bottom of the basin to be contoured and planted to support wetlands.
The Copeland Creek Detention Basin will be just east of Petaluma Hill Road across from the Green Music Center. It is on the same site where we are constructing the trail to Crane Creek Regional Park, so visitors will be able to enjoy the open space and natural habitat along the creek. It will also allow the existing temporary basin along Rohnert Park Expressway to be filled.
I’ve been told that the official Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) Competitive Project award will be presented in November. Special thanks to our diligent staff who worked tirelessly to get the project planned, prepared, submitted, and (most importantly) selected.
I am really excited for the opportunity to increase our resiliency, reduce flooding, and create important natural habitat in our community.