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Wetland Restoration & Management  |  Watershed Management & Water Quality
Stream Restoration & Management   |  Limnology & Lake Management

Watershed 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 pp. report.

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 monitoring programs.

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 possible solutions.

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.

Healdsburg 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 monitoring.

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, California.

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 conference proceedings.

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 Klamath Mountains.

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 lot-by-lot basis.

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.

Hydroikos Ltd.
2512 Ninth Street, Ste. 7
Berkeley, California 94710