In the interests of clarifying the project’s goals and methods for the public, Iseman invited county Director of Water Quality Mary Anne Skorpanich to provide an update on the project and a brief description of its benefits.
South Orange County Wastewater Authority, Moulton Niguel Water District and the county propose to construct the project within the boundaries of Aliso-Wood Canyons Wilderness Park, from Aliso Creek Road downstream to the SOCWA coastal treatment plant bridge and from the Pacific Ocean upstream through the county-owned Aliso Beach.
The stabilization and restoration component includes a series of low riprap grade control structures; flood plain reconnection by flattening and terracing the eroded steep banks; removal of invasive plants and riparian re-vegetation. Infrastructure protection would include locking the low flow channel in place through the placement of rock at the toe of the channel and soil wraps above the rock.
Many local environmentalists oppose the project.
“Clearly something needs to be done,” said Lisa Marks, a member of the city’s Environmental Committee. “But the environmental community I know doesn’t buy into the SUPER Project. I’d feel better if the city hired a consultant to evaluate the plans at the concept level. Then we can offer improvements.”
Meetings will be held to offer the public an opportunity to comment.
“As our city is the most impacted, we would like customized stakeholder meetings,” Mayor Pro Tem Elizabeth Pearson said. “We would like speakers to come here and keep our environmentalists informed.”
Skorpanich said if time allows, a workshop might be arranged before the stakeholder meetings.