Wu, J.; Kauhanen, P.; Lowe, S.; Pearce, S.; Josh Collins. 2017. Demonstration of a Watershed Approach to Wetland Restoration Planning for Load Reductions: A Pilot Demonstration Project Using GreenPlan-IT in the Santa Rosa Plain, Sonoma County, California. SFEI Contribution No. 996. San Francisco Estuary Institute: Richmond. CA.

This summary memorandum presents technical recommendations to the 401 Certification and Waste Discharge Program (401 Program) of the State Water Resources Control Board (State Board) for a coherent, scientifically sound, repeatable, watershed approach to wetland restoration site evaluation, compliance monitoring and assessment, and Tracking. The recommendations are drawn from the previous four memoranda produced for the Pilot Demonstration Project (Project) that address the following subjects: project work plan and information flow diagram; scientific literature review; landscape scenario planning (to map and prioritize restoration opportunities); and a framework for a watershed-approach to evaluate and report the capacity of a wetland restoration site to protect wetland beneficial uses.

This Project focused on a sub-watershed of the Santa Rosa Plain, in Sonoma County, California. The area was chosen for the Project for three reasons: (1) it is integral to an existing nutrient TMDL and therefore is supported relatively well with hydrological and nutrient data; (2) the historical and existing wetlands and streams of the area were mapped recently in sufficient detail to inform landscape planning; and (3) implementation of the TMDL will involve wetland restoration to reduce downstream nutrient loads, and therefore the Project may help implement the TMDL.

The primary overall purpose of this Project was to explore how numerical simulation and statistical modeling could be combined with existing wetland assessment and reporting tools to create a coherent, watershed-based approach to wetland beneficial use protection. Any relevance to the existing nutrient TMDL for the demonstration area is an intentional, but secondary benefit of this Project.