The City Council on December 3 approved a contract with Habitat Restoration Sciences to begin construction on the Dairy Fork Wetland and Habitat Restoration Project that will naturally treat urban runoff draining from four south Orange County cities and significantly improve water quality in the area.
The City of Aliso Viejo is taking the lead on this multi-jurisdictional wetland project that will naturally treat urban runoff from about 1,500 acres of mixed residential and commercial areas within Aliso Viejo, Lake Forest, Laguna Hills and Laguna Woods before it merges with Aliso Creek. The Dairy Fork Wetland and Habitat Restoration Project will be built on OC Parks land nestled at the southwest corner of Aliso Viejo Parkway and Moulton Parkway.
In April 2014, the Orange County Transportation Authority approved funding for this project through its Measure M2 – Environmental Cleanup Program, which requires a 35 percent local match from the participating cities. Most recently, the City applied for an additional $500,000 in Proposition 84 grant money and is expected to receive the award this month. This funding will dramatically lower the out-of-pocket costs for all four cities — with Aliso Viejo reducing its share from $150,000 to $24,000.
The wetland project, which is part of the South Orange County Watershed Management Area plan, involves building a series of ponds and planting native, ecosystem-friendly plants. When construction of the project is complete next summer, the wetland will be able to reduce pollutants in the water by as much as 99 percent.
This innovative project complements the City of Aliso Viejo’s other successful wetland projects that include the award-winning Wood Canyon wetland at the south end of Canyon View Park, which won an Outstanding Stormwater Implementation Program award last year, and the Glenwood wetland at the northeast corner of Glenwood and Golf Drive.
For more information, contact Environmental Services at 949-425-2538 or firstname.lastname@example.org.