The 9.5 mile Oakville to Oak Knoll (OVOK) Napa River restoration project flows immediately south of the Rutherford Reach restoration. More than 30 landowners are voluntarily participating in this collaborative effort, and like the Rutherford Reach, they are helping fund the long-term monitoring and maintenance of the project. OVOK is expected to cost more than $20 million, with state and federal grants matched by Measure A flood control sales tax funds supporting the effort.
OVOK represents the longest reach of integrated restoration planning along the Napa River to date. The project focuses on a 23 priority sites, with 4.8 miles of active channel restoration underway. Notably, the project encompasses 115 acres, including restoration of more than 80 acres of riparian and channel habitat, critical for thriving fish populations. Participating landowners are contributing monetarily and giving up planted acreage, with approximately 42 acres of vineyard land rededicated to this effort. Activities include floodplain restoration and managed retreat; channel widening; biotechnical bank stabilization; increased in-stream habitat complexity; removal of invasive species and management of PD host plants; and revegetation with native riparian plants.
Large-scale restoration allows the development of diverse habitats, which become habitat nodes, connecting areas of the river together for improved biological function.
CLSI spearheaded the development of OVOK and has overseen the removal of two acres of invasive Arundo donax along four miles of the river, followed by revegetation with native plants. Grading and engineering is complete at several sites, with riparian revegetation underway. Although this winter’s heavy rains this winter made securing new plants a challenge, project completion is slated for 2021.
At least six wineries are involved in the OVOK restoration project, including:
- Franciscan Estate (NGW)
- Gamble Family Vineyards (NGL and NGW)
- Treasury Wine Estates (NGL and NGW)
- Robert Mondavi Winery (NGL and NGW)
- Cardinale Estate Winery
- Missimer Family Estate (NGL)