CONCUR facilitated the Guadalupe River Flood Control Project Collaborative, which produced a landmark agreement to resolve remaining mitigation issues for the lower Guadalupe River in downtown San Jose.

The River, which has flooded twice in the past decade, is habitat for both chinook salmon and steelhead trout. The collaborative included over a dozen members of federal, state and local agencies as well as citizen/agency litigants who had challenged the adequacy of the earlier mitigation plan.

Over the first six months, the collaborative party met on a monthly basis and produced a Dispute Resolution Memorandum (DRM): an agreement on a proposed project and a package of early implementation measures. CONCUR also convened a parallel Technical Fact-Finding Subcommittee to develop technical information in support of the Collaborative’s work.

Over the next 3 1/2 years, this basic design, along with its companion plans for mitigation and recreational access were refined, and rigorous environmental documentation prepared, all with intensive participation of the Collaborative. On November 16, 2001, Brigadier General Griffin, Director of Civil Works, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), approved the GRR/EIR-SEIS and signed the Record of Decision for the Guadalupe River Flood Control Project.

At the Collaborative’s final meeting, a NHI attorney officially withdrew the May 22, 1996 notice of citizens’ suit. He noted that the redesigned project was clearly “superior to the original and to any project that the court would have ordered.” The project redesign produced efficiency gains that will reduce over $100M from the projected cost of the original project with its mitigation requirements. In February 2002, a successor adaptive management team began meeting to kick off a 100-year commitment to Adaptive Management to ensure that the mitigation measures perform as needed.

For more information, visit the Guadalupe River Park & Flood Protection Project website or the US Army Corps of Engineers Guadalupe River Flood Control Project website.