Box Creek Restoration

Status Completed County Santa Cruz
Project Type Repair/Maintenance Location 37.06810° N, -122.06250° W Map
Project Area (Acres) 0.80 Last Updated 11 August 2016

Project Identification

11566 NRRSS - Record Number

Habitat Plan

ActivityHabitatSubHabitatAcresActivity StatusWater Regime
Enhancement Riverine Wetland Riparian area 0.80 Construction completed

Related Habitat Impacts

HabitatAcres LostType of Loss
No Data


Box Creek Construction completed 0.80


DateTypeDescriptionSite Name
2009-10-01 Project entered Project entered into database
2000-12-31 Groundwork end Estimated date Box Creek
1997-06-01 Groundwork start Estimated date Box Creek


Contact Barry Hecht Balance Hydrologics, Inc. Not applicable/Unknown


Enhancement State Water Resources Control Board

Related CRAM Assessments

Visit DateVersionSite NameWetland TypeIndex Score
No Data

Performance Criteria

StatusDetailsEvaluation Date
No Data

Project Description

High yields of sand from an incising channel in unconsolidated sandy soil and sandstone can induce sedimentation of salmonid habitat downstream. Balance Hydrologics was asked by the San Lorenzo Valley Water District and the Zayante Fire Department to plan and design restoration of Box Creek, a steep channel incising into unconsolidated sandy soils and substrate. High-water marks from regional storms of record showed that peak flows were relatively low, with incision triggered largely by removal of riparian vegetation in the recent past. Incision had also drained the water table, resulting in loss of alders and willows or poor plant vigor. Two check dams were designed to raise the channel grade and water table. One check dam is a gabion structure keyed two channel widths into the bank, with downstream rock mattress energy dissipation. Sufficient redwood was available onsite to design and construct a log-stake checkdam with downed-wood and rootwad energy dissipation, constructed by volunteers. Revegetation with both low- and high-bank riparian species has helped re-establish the banks. Recommendations were made regarding restoration of the 50-acre watershed upstream, most of which lies within a former sand quarry not worked for the past 15 years.
Upload files or links
Name File Type Submitted On Submitted By
Project Summary Other 2010-03-19 Cara Clark, Moss Landing Marine Laboratories

NRPI file

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.

Display Habitat Development Curves For Wetland Type:

CRAM Site Scores