Provo River Delta Restoration Project
The Provo River Delta Restoration Project will create a more natural lower Provo River ecosystem and help recover the endangered June sucker that depends on it. Restoring the delta will also provide the community with a unique recreational area and protected open space, and will help ensure that important water projects link to June sucker recovery stay on track.
The Provo River Delta project involves diverting most of the last reach of lower Provo River’s ﬂow north of its current location into a constructed system of braided waterways and wetlands that connect with Utah Lake. This will create habitat critical to the survival of the young June sucker hatched in the upstream portions of the lower Provo River. The old channel will continue to receive stream ﬂow and will maintain a constant water elevation year-round. An aeration system will be installed to improve water quality, aesthetics and odor. Access to this channel will be made easier and safer and trailheads with parking and non-motorized boat access will be constructed. Additional trails and two observation towers will be constructed around the new delta area so the public can enjoy the beauty of Utah Lake and the restored delta.
LAND APPRAISALS & ACQUISITION
The last and largest the property ownership needed for the Provo River Delta Restoration Project is now under contract. After closing, approximately 287 acres of property will have been acquired for the project as depicted in the Project Area Map.
WILDLIFE MONITORING AND BIRD USE
We are well into our second year of monitoring avian abundance and movement at twenty locations in and around the Provo River Delta project area. We began this study in April 2017, with support from Brigham Young University’s Department of Plant and Wildlife Sciences and under supervision of a certiﬁed airport wildlife biologist. The study will provide baseline information of the avian community using the project area, will help us identify pre-existing bird/aircraft strike risk, and will help us better understand how our project may influence these factors and what mitigation would be necessary to reduce this risk. The first year of data collection showed 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
Since last spring, design efforts have focused primarily on collecting ﬁeld data that will be used to reﬁne ﬁnal designs and inform construction sequencing plans. Feld work primarily has consisted of geotechnical investigations and soil testing to get a better understanding of soil types and textures present in the project area. The following is a short video describing our ﬁeldwork.
Final project designs will be completed once ﬁeld data has been analyzed and all land needed for the project is acquired.
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. When complete, the trailhead will include parking, a restroom, and trail and river access.