Our City is taking the lead on an exciting multi-jurisdictional wetland project that will dramatically improve water quality and restore natural habitat near Aliso Creek.
Construction on the Dairy Fork Wetland and Habitat Restoration Project is anticipated to begin this month. The project is located on the southwest corner of Aliso Viejo Parkway and Moulton Parkway.
Our City was awarded state and local funding for this wetland project that will naturally treat runoff from the Dairy Fork sub-watershed, which is a tributary to the Aliso Creek Watershed. This wetland is designed to treat runoff from 1,500 acres of residential and commercial areas within our City and the cities of Lake Forest, Laguna Hills and Laguna Woods before it merges with Aliso Creek.
City staff applied for and received funding from the Orange County Transportation Authority (Measure M2) as well as State Department of Water Resources (as Proposition 84) money for this project. The funding will considerably reduce the costs to all cities involved.
Part of the South Orange County Watershed Management Area Plan, the Dairy Fork wetland project entails building two ponds, removing non-native invasive plants and planting native, ecosystem-friendly foliage. When construction is finished sometime this summer, the wetland will have the ability to reduce pollutants in the water by as much as 99%. As you can imagine, improving our water quality and restoring natural habitat has challenged state, local and federal authorities – not to mention developers – for decades. This is certainly a key project that will help to improve our environment, and it’s not the first wetland project Aliso Viejo has constructed.
In 2005, our City built the Wood Canyon Wetland at the south end of Canyon View Park. The project received the 2014 Outstanding Stormwater Implementation Program from the California Stormwater Quality Association. Another wetland, the Glenwood Wetland, was constructed in 2010 at the northeast corner of Glenwood and Golf Drive. Both of these successful projects have helped to improve water quality and restore natural habitat.
It’s essential for us to do everything we can to clean up our water — to benefit the environment and future generations. I am extremely proud of the work our City and our partnering cities and agencies are doing to make that happen.
Our City will host a groundbreaking ceremony in the coming weeks to kick off the construction phase for the Dairy Fork Wetland project, so please stay tuned for details through the City’s website, eNews, social media sites or by contacting the Environmental Division at 949-425-2538.