Last week the Corps of Engineers sent a letter to the Matilija Dam stakeholders that provides an update on the process and next steps. According to the letter, the designated Project Partners will convene a Fine Sediment Workgroup and will host a series of meetings starting this week.
The Matilija Coalition will be represented by Paul Jenkin, who has been engaged in this project since its inception in the mid-1990's. The Coalition's most recent suggestions for solving the impasse and moving forward with dam removal are on the web at matilija-coalition.org
To members of the Matilija Dam Design Oversight Group:
We are writing in follow up to our August 9, 2010 letter to you regarding the design and cost of managing and disposing of approximately two million cubic yards of highly-concentrated fine sediments that have accumulated behind Matilija Dam.
The Project Partners have retained the services of a facilitator with the Center for Collaborative Policy (CCP) (www.csus.edu/ccp) to assist in determining recommended next steps for resolution of fine sediment issues. As a first step, the CCP facilitator Mary Selkirk conducted a number of interviews with stakeholders representing different organizations and interests to assess their concerns about the various conceptual plans to manage the sediments, and to elicit views on how to proceed toward a sustainable solution. Ms. Selkirk completed these interviews in mid‐September and presented her recommendations to the Project Partners in late October.
The Project Partners have elected to proceed with convening a Study Group to consider the outstanding technical, design, and cost issues, and to collaboratively develop a work plan to resolve the major fine sediment management issues. Study Group members consist of representatives from each of the Project Partners, as well as representatives from the stakeholder community. Study Group Members are expected to share ideas and recommendations based on their technical expertise and/or knowledge of the project.
The Study Group will hold its first of several meetings on Friday, December 10, 2010, from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Ventura County Public Works Saticoy Operations Yard, 11251 Riverbank Drive, Ventura. Members of the Design Oversight Group and others may also attend to listen to the Study Group discussions and provide comments at specific times during the meeting.
Please check the Matilija Dam Ecosystem Project website for further details at: www.matilijadam.org.
Jeff Pratt, Ventura Watershed Protection District
Brian M. Moore, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Bob Thiel, State Coastal Conservancy