Dos Rios Restoration

Victoria Martinez: USDA Intern in partnership with CSU Stanislaus

The Dos Rios Ranch has become the largest floodplain restoration site in California. With the support of River Partners, we organized a series of public workdays to allow communities near and far to participate in restoring this ranch into a natural floodplain habitat, where the San Joaquin and Tuolumne Rivers meet. As our tree planting days quickly approached, our Dos Rios restoration sites were flooded due to a particularly wet winter. While disappointed by the cancellations, we were thrilled to see our project sites acting in the way they were intended – flooded floodplains!

As warmer weather approached, we were eager to return to the ranch and continue the restoration. Despite the inevitable valley heat, 70 individuals attended our work days to participate in any way they could. With tree planting season passed, we dedicated our efforts to maintain valley oak trees already planted by removing weeds competing for their space. In addition, milk weed was planted at one of the nesting sites to create habitat for the monarch butterfly. Despite all the setbacks, we shared some of our most successful restoration days yet with members of our community.

We are also very excited about the addition of a Quality Assurance Project Plan (QAPP) for our water quality monitoring program. This document ensures that all data collection will be carried out under the same sampling methods, regardless of who participates. We’re excited for this new aspect of the monitoring program as it will allow more individuals from riverside communities to participate in our water quality monitoring program. The QAPP will also validate our data collection allowing it to be used for research purposes by not only the trust, but members of the community and universities interested in watershed research.