Growing forward: Effort to restore river habitat takes first step

By: Alex Breitler, Stockton Record

IMGP2863On a river, you have to celebrate the small successes.

A grand vision to restore the Calaveras River where it flows past the University of the Pacific has not been fulfilled, but Saturday – after almost two years of planning and navigating local and state bureaucracy – volunteers were able to plant native grasses across a 3-acre Calaveras flood plain.

It’s not easy in a post-Hurricane Katrina world to plant anything on a flood plain.

This won’t be the full-fledged riparian restoration some naturalists would like. And if you’re not a biologist or plant scientist, the south bank of the Calaveras might not look all that different.

But it does represent the biggest on-the-ground project conducted by advocacy group Friends of the Lower Calaveras River, which for five years has tried to elevate the profile of the Calaveras beyond a mere drainage ditch.

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