Dos Rios Ranch (River Partners)

18th Annual Berkeley River Restoration Symposium

The 18th annual Berkeley River Restoration Symposium was held on Thursday and Friday, 08 and 09 December. The program featured a review of efforts to give more room to California rivers, three studies documenting the evolution of restoration projects on Redwood Creek, restorations of urban rivers and a historic canal, Everglades restoration efforts, parallels between process-based restoration and indigenous knowledge, and why a rigid border wall doesn’t mix well with a dynamic Sonoran Desert river. Keeping with our post-COVID precautions, the symposium was again online.

Full program below.

Thursday 8 December

9a Keynote: Giving rivers more room: experiences from the Central Valley.
Julie Rentner, River Partners.

10a Some Urban River Restorations

Addressing channel incision through floodplain reconnection: Revisiting the Lower Tassajara Creek project   
Skyler Lewis

Sausal Creek: Vegetation Survey and Floodplain Conveyance
Carl Bello, Rex Chen, Taylor Lithgow, Emily Meyers


Water temperature suitability for steelhead trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) in Codornices Creek
Sasha Figel & Rene Gonzalez

Quality of Ecological Restoration in an Urban Creek Restoration Project on Wildcat Creek
Amber Lennon, Heather Nelson, & Chris Nygard

12n Panel DiscussionJulie Rentner, River Partners; Bob Charbonneau, UC Office of President (ret); Susan Schwartz, Friends of Five Creeks

Friday 09 December

9a Redwood Creek Restoration

Resurveying the Banducci site to analyze geomorphic changes since restoration in 2003
Claire Bareilles, Brayden Johnk, Caroline Lindquist, Isabelle Doerschlag

Assessment of the use of grade control for improved vertical connectivity with groundwater on a
tributary in Muir Woods
Henry Lindekugel, Javier Garibay and Adrien Villaret

Channel Changes Since Removal of CCC-Era Riprap in Muir Woods
Mariolina Papa, Sergio Jimenez, Ruby Telfer, and Hozefa Haidery

Diverse Perspectives on Impacts to and Restoration of Watercourses:

Process-based restoration approaches: parallels to indigenous and traditional ecological knowledge
Kendra Christensen, Pierre Lucas


Community Impacts and Inputs on the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan
Eliza Breder

Border Wall Infrastructure in a Desert Riverscape: Potential Effects on the San Pedro River
Hannah Hansen

A Feasibility Study of The Hangzhou Tangxi Canal Restoration   
Frank Wen Yao

12n Panel Discussion: Carolyn Shoulders, National Park Service; Eric Donaldson, Balance Hydrologics;  Rich Walkling, Restoration Design Group

Keynote Presentation

Giving rivers more room: experiences from the Central Valley
Julie Rentner, River Partners

In 2023, River Partners will celebrate 25 years of bringing life back to California’s rivers and the wildlife and communities that depend on them. River Partners’ portfolio includes restoring nearly 20,000 acres of riverside and floodplain habitat throughout the Sacramento Valley, San Joaquin Valley, and Southern California. This includes doubling the total acreage of native riparian habitat in the Central Valley. The organization leads innovative approaches to giving the river more room to meander in ways that not only decrease conflict with public infrastructure also but create multiple community assets for people and the watershed. Our experiences show that social and political drivers of restoration can be aligned with physical and ecological drivers leading to large restoration outcomes in imperiled watersheds.  Over the last decade, river restoration projects in the Central Valley have served as powerful demonstrations that have contributed to a paradigm shift in the Central Valley flood management community that has the potential to revitalize California’s water systems through improvement of geomorphology, vegetation ecology, and community engagement. Ms. Rentner will share perspectives and highlights from a quarter-century of historic and evolving restoration leadership, including real-world lessons and institutional advances that have given the river more room to roam across the landscape in ways that are broadly supported by communities and water users.

Julie Rentner is President of the statewide restoration nonprofit River Partners, where she has led the design and construction of hundreds of millions of dollars of river restoration across the largest rivers in California.  Julie has developed and led stakeholder processes supporting the integration of flood control and ecosystem enhancement at the regional level, resulting in the development of several on-the-ground multi-benefit projects, as well as the creation of the Mid San Joaquin River Regional Flood Management Plan. She joined River Partners in 2008 as a Restoration Ecologist based in the San Joaquin Valley. She completed the California Agricultural Leadership Program in 2015 and serves as President of Reclamation District 2092. She received her BS in Forestry at the University of California, Berkeley and MS from the University of Hawaii, Manoa in Natural Resources and Environmental Management.

cover image: Dos Rios Ranch (River Partners)