Gualala River, Mill Bend Preserve

PCI is thrilled to be working with the Redwood Coast Land Conservancy to develop a Conservation Plan for the 113-acre Mill Bend Preserve. This newly-acquired preserve lies at the mouth of the Gualala River, at the border of Sonoma and Mendocino Counties, and offers spectacular views of the estuary. It is adjacent to the town of Gualala to the north, and Gualala Point Regional Park to the south.  PCI’s work includes assessment of the site’s rich resources, identifying restoration opportunities, and planning public access that protects sensitive habitats.

The Press Democrat – New 113-acre preserve on Sonoma-Mendocino line aims to bolster Gualala River recovery

PCI design success: Nathanson Creek

Nathanson Creek flows through the city of Sonoma, past schools and homes, on its way to Schell Creek and San Pablo Bay. In the past, it frequently flooded during winter storms. The City of Sonoma, Sonoma Ecology Center, Sonoma Water, and Sonoma County Ag + Open Space worked together to protect and restore a key half-mile reach of the stream. PCI was brought in to develop a restoration design that would simultaneously alleviate the chronic flooding and improve riparian habitat.

The project, completed in late 2018, transformed a flat, compacted, weedy gravel parking lot into beautiful, functional habitat. A side channel and wetland basin were created to provide more room for high flows and to allow for the gradual infiltration of runoff that is so important to water quality. Hundreds of native riparian and wetland plants were planted.

This winter’s robust rains tested the project, and it performed just as planned. Check it out when you are in the neighborhood! The Nathanson Creek Preserve welcomes the public to stroll along this lovely and functional riparian corridor; you can access it from E. MacArthur just east of Broadway.