One of my District priorities is the permanent restoration of Serrano Creek in Lake Forest. Several homes in the Autumnwood community are threatened by severe bank erosion near their back yards. The excess sediment from the creek banks is filling in the Upper Newport Bay, which have degraded the wetlands. The Army Corps and the Coastal Conservancy have funded some of the $40 million dredging costs, which is wonderful, but unless we can repair the upstream slopes, we’re going to have to find more funding in the future and who knows how expensive dredging will be then!
Thanks to hard work by County staff, the City of Lake Forest, and the Irvine Ranch Water District, first steps towards restoration of Serrano Creek have been taken. An interim slope repair project was completed a year ago, and will “buy” us time until we can complete the needed technical studies and obtain funding to complete slope restoration of Serrano Creek. The County is actively seeking funding and working with potential cost-share partners throughout the region and the state. Securing funding for the project is critical since the protection of homes depends on the permanent solution being implemented.