Southern Orange County Special Area Management Plan

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To preserve, enhance, and restore aquatic resources in the San Juan and San Mateo watersheds of southern California, a thorough understanding of the hydrogeomorphic impacts of development was needed. The development of the Southern Orange County Special Area Management Plan (SAMP) allowed for reasonable and environmentally responsible economic activities and development.

ESA analyzed hydrologic flow regime, sediment transport under various land use scenarios, and the role of first- and second-order tributaries for inclusion in the SAMP. The team considered impacts of changes to watershed land use caused by the delivery of sand to the coastal zone. Results of the baseline technical studies were organized within a GIS platform that supported an alternatives analysis of various land use configurations and their resulting hydrogeomorphic impacts. The SAMP was a coordinated effort between the Rancho Mission Viejo and the regulatory division of the Los Angeles District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The process demonstrated a new approach to cooperative planning between landowners and government agencies. The project has gained national attention as a model for development in other regions.

ESA contributed to a national model for development. The Southern Orange County Special Area Management Plan was developed to preserve, enhance, and restore aquatic resources in the San Juan and San Mateo watersheds of southern California while allowing for reasonable and environmentally responsible economic activities and development.

Specialized Services

  • Hydrologic and hydraulic modeling