Management and Water Quality
Realigning the Lake Tahoe Interagency Monitoring Program.
For the USDA Forest Service, Pacific SW Research Station, with funding from the Southern Nevada Public Lands Management Act, 2013-2014. Coats is Principal Investigator for a project to 1) remove sources of bias in the 39-yr record of streamwater quality in the Tahoe basin, and test for time trends; 2) develop recommendations for redesigning the Program to make it more useful as a monitoring tool. The work will include explicit measurement of confidence limits on estimates of nutrient and sediment loads, and cost estimates for alternative sampling designs.
Effects of Post-fir Salvage Logging on Erosion and Soil Hydrologic Properties.
Scientific Literature Review of Forest
Management Effects on Riparian Functions in Anadromous Salmonid
Fisheries. For the California State Board of Forestry. Coats worked
with a team assembled by the firm Sound Watershed Consulting to help the Board
of Forestry address critical issues in the management of riparian zones on
private forest lands. Results were presented to the Board orally and in a 325
Truckee River Water Quality Monitoring Plan.
For Placer County and the Town of Truckee, 2008. Coats worked with the
firm 2ND NATURE to develop a plan for monitoring water quality changes
associated with land use in the Truckee River Basin between Lake Tahoe and
Truckee. The plan will help the County and City comply with the stormwater
regulations under the Clean Water Act.
State of Arizona v.
Johnson et al. For Office of Arizona Attorney General, 2007. A
landowner along the Santa Cruz River in Maricopa County, AZ cleared vegetation
from 2000 acres (including riparian habitat) without a permit. Coats analyzed
the hydrologic connectivity of the Santa Cruz River to Waters of the U.S. at
the Gila River, and assessed the evidence of contribution of the land clearing
to sediment input to the River.
Research on Nutrient Transport in
Streams of the Tahoe Basin. For the U.C. Davis Tahoe Research Group,
(TRG) 1992-present. Coats has analyzed 200 station-years of streamflow and
nutrient records, fit nitrogen concentration data to a discharge-concentration
model, recalculated total loads, and published results in Applied Geochemistry,
Water Resources Research, and Journal of the American Water Resources
Association. Results were also presented at the 1992 International Conference
on Environmental Geochemistry in Upsaala, Sweden, and in posters for AGU and
the 1998 North American Forest Soils Conference. He is currently working on the
Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board's "Total Maximum Daily Load"
(TMDL) project for the Tahoe Basin, developing statistical relationships
between watershed characteristics and the concentrations and loads of nitrogen,
phosphorus and sediment. See Publications
Water Quality Monitoring Plan for Siller
Ranch. For DMB Highlands Group, LLC, 2004. Hydroikos reviewed existing
water quality information and BMPs in a subdivision near Truckee, CA, and
developed a water quality monitoring plan for Martis Creek, which flows through
the proposed Siller Ranch development. Sampling of Martis Creek began in fall
2004, and monitoring stations with continuous water level recorders and water
quality probes were installed by the client at two sites on Martis Creek in the
winter of 2004-05. Hydroikos analyzed the first year of data, and has submitted
an annual report, based on the first year of sediment, nutrient and discharge
data. The sampling protocol and analytical methods are based on the methods
used in the Lake Tahoe Interagency Monitoring Program (LTIMP). The monitoring
program is helping to ensure that the new development meets the Basin Plan
objectives, and does not contribute to cumulative water quality degradation in
Martis Creek Lake.
Water Quality in Codornices Creek, Berkeley,
CA. For the Urban Creeks Council, 2002-2006. Codornices Creek, an urban
stream in Berkeley, supports a population of steelhead. In cooperation with
William Kier Associates, Hydroikos sampled the stream during the 2002-2003 and
2006 water years for pesticides, heavy metals and polycyclic aromatic
hydrocarbons, and provided recommendations for water quality improvement.
Ecosystem Restoration Project for Auburn Ravine & Coon Creek
Watersheds. For the Placer County Planning Department, 2000. Water
quality in the Auburn Ravine and Coon Creek basins is affected by urban runoff,
treated wastewater discharge, releases and diversions for hydropower, and
return flows from irrigation. Coats assemble and analyzed water quality data in
the watersheds, in order to assist in the development of ecosystem restoration
projects, and to identify data gaps that are being filled through new
Lake Tahoe Water Quality Expert Witness
Testimony. For the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency and the California
Attorney General's Office. 1983, 1990. Coats analyzed potential water quality
impacts of proposed subdivisions, and the efficacy of existing land use
controls in maintaining the water quality of Lake Tahoe. The two lawsuits were
Cody v. TRPA and Lake Country Estates v. TRPA. Coats presented testimony in
both State and Federal Court.
Mateel Environmental Justice
Foundation v. Pacific Lumber et al. For Zelle, Hofmann, Voelbel &
Gette. 1999. Coats reviewed timber harvest plans and violation reports to
determine if Pacific Lumber's failure to comply with forest practice
regulations gave them an unfair competitive business advantage.
Napa County Vineyard Permit Compliance. For Drew
Aspegren, P.E., 2000. In the process of installing a vineyard, the owner
inadvertently allowed material to enter a watercourse under the jurisdiction of
the Regional Water Quality Control Board. Pursuant to the Board's Cleanup &
Abatement order, Coats sampled the stream for dissolved nitrogen and suspended
sediment, and reported on the results.
Water Quality Impacts of
Hydropower Development in the North Umpqua River Basin. For PacifiCorp,
Inc., 1998-99. As part of the FERC relicensing process, PacifiCorp embarked on
an innovative process of watershed analysis and negotiation with stakeholders.
Water quality-- especially eutrophication-emerged as an important issue in this
process. Coats analyzed existing water quality data, wrote the water quality
chapter for a "synthesis report" that emerged from the watershed analysis, and
prepared detailed plans for additional water quality studies in basin. He also
attended numerous stakeholder meetings to explain the water quality issues and
Monitoring Plan for a Sustained Yield
Management Plan. For Louisiana-Pacific Corporation (now Mendocino
Redwood Company), 1997-98. As part of the company's Sustained Yield/Habitat
Conservation Plan, Coats developed a detailed plan for monitoring the effects
of timber harvest activities on hillslopes and stream channels. The plan
incorporated parts of the Board of Forestry's monitoring methodology, as well
as procedures aimed at monitoring in-channel habitat.
Groundwater Study. For the City of Healdsburg, 1996. The City of
Healdsburg discharges treated wastewater to a gravel pit near the Russian
River. Because of concerns about contamination of the river and groundwater,
the City has been measuring water quality and elevation in a set of monitoring
wells. Coats used the data, along with the modeling results from MODFLO and
MODPATH, to analyze the contaminant trajectories and determine the effect of
the effluent discharge on groundwater and river water quality.
Watershed Sanitary Survey. For the Irish Beach Water
District, 1996. Coats surveyed water quality problems in a forested watershed,
Mendocino County, and wrote the Watershed Sanitary Survey Report. The study
focused on the use of Best Management Practices in timber harvest operations to
reduce erosion and sedimentation.
Ski Run Water Quality
Improvement Project. For the City of South Lake Tahoe, 1993-95. The
project analyzed stormwater inflow data, groundwater and water quality in
wetlands constructed for stormwater treatment. Plant development in the basins
was monitored by Tahoe Native Plants, under subcontract. Staff of the Tahoe
Research Group contributed to the data interpretation and analysis. The results
provided the basis for recommendations for operations, maintenance, and
Malibu Wastewater Management Study. For the
City of Malibu, 1991-92. Coats was project manager for a large
multidisciplinary study on wastewater management at Malibu. In collaboration
with Peter Warshall and Associates, he assessed the water quality management
problems of Malibu Lagoon, mapped the stormwater drains contributing runoff to
the Lagoon, and developed estimates on nonpoint source pollutant loads to the
Lagoon and Santa Monica Bay.
Malibu Lagoon and Malibu Creek
Watershed Enhancement Plans. For the California State Coastal
Conservancy, 1991-93. Coats evaluated existing information sources and
developed budgets and scopes of work for a watershed enhancement plan and
lagoon enhancement plans.
Urban Development Effects on Stormwater
Quality. For the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development
Commission, in cooperation with the U.C. Berkeley Center for Environmental
Design Research, (CEDR) 1990. Using data from the urban runoff water quality
studies of the USGS and others, together with USGS hydrology studies for the
Bay Area, Coats developed input for use in a GIS model that was used by CEDR to
predict the impacts of various build-out scenarios pollutant loading in urban
runoff to San Francisco Bay .
Potential Sedimentation Impacts of
Salvage Logging, S. Fork Trinity River Basin. For the Sierra Club Legal
Defense Fund and the Wilderness Society, 1991-92. PWA reviewed proposed salvage
logging plans and proposed Best Management Practices and testified in Federal
Court on likely water quality impacts of the proposed logging operation in the
Shasta-Trinity National Forest.
Los Penasquitos Creek Flow
Supplement Analysis. For the City of Poway, via Michael Brandman
Assoc., 1989. Coats prepared an analysis of the effects of a supplementary
discharge to Los Penasquitos Creek on the stream channel and lagoon morphology
and aquatic habitat, including the analysis of alternatives to the proposed
project. The study included analysis of historic flow conditions in relation to
discharge of treated wastewater, and increases in baseflow associated with
development of landscape irrigation. It also included a quantitative analysis
of possible effects of increased freshwater flows on density stratification of
Los Penasquitos Lagoon.
Cumulative Effects of Hydropower
Development. For the State Water Resources Control Board, 1984. Coats
developed baseline hydrologic information for evaluation of environmental
effects of hydropower development in the Upper San Joaquin River basin,
Assessing Cumulative Watershed Impacts in Granitic
Terrain. For the USDA Forest Service Region 51982-83. Coats wrote a
literature review and conducted a reconnaissance-level investigation in the
Sierra National Forest to evaluate the extent of cumulative impacts of timber
management activities in granitic terrain.
Symposium on Watershed
Rehabilitation in Redwood National Park. For the National Park Service,
1981. This conference presented the results of on-going research at RNP and
other pacific coastal areas on the techniques for restoring damaged watersheds
in steep forested watersheds. Coats organized the conference, and edited the
Grider Creek Development Plan and
Environmental Assessment. For the Klamath National Forest, through
subcontract to LSA, Inc., 1981. Coats supervised the hydrology and fisheries
analysis for a roading and logging and plan for a 30 mi2 drainage basin in the
Land Capability Classification in the Tahoe
Basin. For the California Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, 1980-83.
Coats participated in an interdisciplinary review team that evaluated the
application of a geomorphic land capability classification system on a
Alton Coal Field Unsuitability
Petition. For the Environmental Defense Fund, Friends of the Earth and
Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund, 1979-80. Coats prepared affidavits relating to
soils, reclamation and surface and groundwater hydrology for a legal petition
to the Office of Surface Mining. He testified in agency hearings in Kanab, Utah
on behalf of the ultimately successful petition.