Friday March 31, 2023


Last fall, when the state Legislature authorized $40 million for floodplain restoration, Julie Rentner knew just what she would do with it. Her group, River Partners, would spend more than a quarter of the funds buying a 500-acre dairy farm abutting the San Joaquin River in Stanislaus County. 

Then millions more would be spent on removing debris, sheds, manure heaps and levees. They would plant native vegetation, and eventually restore the parcel to its natural state as a woodland and floodplain. 

When floodplains like these are allowed to fill with water, they can reduce flooding impacts elsewhere along the river, so the project could protect communities downstream, including Stockton, which is highly vulnerable to flooding. 

Rentner said crews of community members were ready to begin the work.

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