Provo River Delta Restoration Project
The purpose of the Provo River Delta Restoration Project is to facilitate the recovery of the endangered June sucker, a fish species that occurs only in Utah Lake, and in doing so restore the lake's natural ecological processes which have been altered over the last century. The project will provide new and enhanced outdoor recreational opportunities and protected open space, which are considered key ingredients to healthy communities and which contribute to a high quality of life. The project also helps ensure water development projects needed for growing populations along the Wasatch Front stay on track.
LAND APPRAISALS & ACQUISITION
Over the last six months we have continued to acquire property needed for the project. Property has been acquired from three of the five different landowners whose property is needed for the project. A map of the land acquisition status can be found on our Project Maps page.
WILDLIFE MONITORING AND BIRD USE
A bird monitoring and movement study to collect baseline information of the avian community presently using the project area has been underway since April 2017. The monitoring and movement study will help us identify pre-existing bird/aircraft strike risk, understand how our project may influence these factors and what mitigation would be necessary to reduce this risk. The first year of data collection has just been completed
and preliminary results show a total of approximately 310,000 bird observations. Forty-eight percent (48%) of
the total bird observations occurred at just five of the twenty monitoring locations. The first year of data is summarized in the Bird Monitoring & Movement Study Story Map and Charts.
DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION CONTRACTS
Late last year, draft engineering designs were completed for a berm that will define the southern border of the
delta area, and for a small dam and water diversion structure on the existing lower Provo River. These draft designs recently underwent a value engineering process to evaluate possible design modifications to improve function or reduce costs. Project leads will be reviewing the value engineering results and gathering stakeholder input this spring and summer as the design process continues.
Draft designs for the new river channel and delta area, including draft revegetation plans have also been completed. These draft designs incorporate input from agency biologists with June sucker expertise, as well as input from Federal Aviation Administration, USDA Wildlife Services, Provo Airport, and US Fish & Wildlife Service on design strategies to help reduce bird-aircraft strike risk.
Final designs will be completed once all land needed for the project is acquired. Project construction is expected
to take four years and may start in 2019 or 2020.
Provo River West Trailhead Cooperative Partnership
Utah Lake State Park, in partnership with Utah County, Utah Lake Commission, the Mitigation Commission, Provo City, and Utah Division of Forestry Fire and State Lands, is constructing a new trailhead parking area just east of the State Park entrance. The site was cleared of vegetation over the winter, and initial grading work is scheduled for this spring. Additional work will proceed as funding becomes available. When complete, the trailhead will include parking, a restroom, and trail and river access.