In March 2012, the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) study began testing a new planning paradigm to determine the feasibility of implementing ecosystem restoration and recreation along the Westside Creeks. The study will focus on improving aquatic ecosystem function and habitat within the creeks. The Westside Creeks are located within the central flyway zone and serve asa stop-over point for several migratory birds. The Corps is working to assess that if the creeks had improved vegetation, improved aquatic habitat and other enhancements could they provide important stop-over habitat for seasonal bird migrations.
The project is being led by the USACE with hydraulic and serving as the lead consultants. San Antonio River Authority is provided the USACE team with data, details on Natural Channel Design (NCD) and local expertise.
The objectives include restoring, to the extent practicable, a sustainable, dynamic riverine ecosystem providing habitat for aquatic and riparian dependent migratory and native resident bird species in the Westside Creeks study area over the next 75 years while maximizing, to the extent practicable, recreation benefits along the Westside Creeks compatible in scope and scale of the project's ecosystem restoration objective and consistent with national, regional, and local recreation goals. The project builds on the "Westside Creeks Restoration Project Conceptual Plan" approved by the SARA board in August of 2011.
- July 2011: Scoping Workshops
- July 2012: NEPA scoping meeting
- October 2012: Final round of brainstorming
- December 2012: First draft of full report