San Luis Obispo Creek Watershed Restoration Plan

Status Completed County San Luis Obispo
Project Type Non-mitigation Location 35.19578° N, -120.69683° W Map
Project Area (Acres) 80.00 Last Updated 11 August 2016

Project Identification

11745 NRRSS - Record Number

Habitat Plan

ActivityHabitatSubHabitatAcresActivity StatusWater Regime
Restoration Riverine Wetland Riparian area 80.00 Construction completed

Related Habitat Impacts

HabitatAcres LostType of Loss
No Data


San Luis Obispo Creek Construction completed 80.00


DateTypeDescriptionSite Name
2009-10-01 Project entered Project entered into database
1998-01-01 Groundwork end Estimated date San Luis Obispo Creek
1991-01-01 Groundwork start Estimated date San Luis Obispo Creek


Contact Ray Belknap Land Conservancy of San Luis Obispo County Not applicable/Unknown


Restoration State Water Resources Control Board

Related CRAM Assessments

Visit DateVersionSite NameWetland TypeIndex Score
2008-04-23 5.0.1 SLO Creek riverine non-confined 64
2008-04-23 5.0.1 San Luis Obispo Creek riverine non-confined 67
2007-02-23 4.2.3 San Louis Obispo River riverine non-confined 64
2006-07-24 4.1 San Luis Obispo River riverine non-confined 66

Performance Criteria

StatusDetailsEvaluation Date
No Data

Project Description

The project is the second phase of a multiphase project to restore San Luis Obispo Creek Watershed to beneficial uses. The Central Coast Regional Board has identified nonpoint source pollution as a significant problem in the San Luis Obispo Creek Watershed. Urbanization, land development, construction, hydromodification, and traditional agricultural land use practices in the watershed have been targeted as potential contributors of nonpoint source pollution. The inventroy of Central Coast water bodies degraded by nonpoint source pollution indicates that San Luis Obispo Creek is impacted by excessive nutrient loading and sedimentation. Beneficial uses threatened or impaired by this water quality degradation include both water contact and non-contact recreation, wildlife habitat, fish habitat (both cold and warm water), fish migration, fish spawning, and ground water recharge. The intent of this Phase II project is to improve urban/agricultural practices and mitigate their effects which are contributing to the water quality degradation of San Luis Obispo Creek.
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How to Use the Habitat Development Curve

Habitat Development Curves (HDCs) are used to determine the developmental status and trajectory of on-the-ground projects to create, restore, or enhance California wetland and stream habitats. Each HDC is based on assessments of habitat condition for different age areas of one habitat type that in aggregate represent the full spectrum of habitat development. The assessments of condition are provided by expert applications of the California Rapid Assessment Method (CRAM). Visit the CRAM website for more information about CRAM.

For each HDC, reference condition is represented by areas of a habitat that consistently get very high CRAM scores, have not been subject to disruptive management practices, and exist within landscapes that are protected and managed for their natural conditions. The horizontal lines intersecting the top of an HDC represent the mean CRAM score and standard deviation of scores for 25 qualifying reference areas.

The age of a project is estimated as the elapsed time in years between the groundwork end date for the project and the date of the CRAM assessment. To add or update a groundwork end date, use the Project Events form in Project Tracker ( The minimum age in years of a non-project area, including any natural reference area, is estimated from all available local information, including historical maps and imagery, historical written accounts, and place-specific scientific studies of habitat development.

An HDC can be used to address the following questions:

  1. At what time in the future will the area of assessed habitat achieve the reference condition or other milestones in habitat development? The HDC can answer this question if the CRAM score for the assessed area is within the confidence interval of the HDC. The answer is the time in years along the HDC between the current age of the assessed area and the future date corresponding to the intersection of the HDC and the reference condition or other milestone.
  2. Is the area of assessed habitat likely to develop faster, slower, or at the same pace as most other areas of the same habitat type? The habitat area is likely to develop faster, slower, or at the same pace if the CRAM score for the area is above, below, or within the confidence interval of the HDC, respectively.
  3. What can be done to improve the condition of the habitat area or to increase its rate of development? HDCs by themselves cannot answer this question. Possible answers can be inferred by the following analysis that involves HDCs:
    1. Examine the HDC for each of the four CRAM Attributes;
    2. Identify the Attribute(s) scoring below the HDC;
    3. For any low-scoring Attribute, examine the component Metric Scores (note: the Metric Scores for any public CRAM assessment in the CRAM database can be obtained through EcoAtlas);
    4. Assume the low score of an Attribute is due to its low-scoring Metric(s);
    5. Consider modifying the design or management of the habitat area in ways that will sustainably increase its score(s) for the low-scoring Metric(s).

For more information about CRAM Attributes and Metrics, including their scientific rationale, see the CRAM Manual.

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